Appeal makes McLaren ‘worst losers’ – report

Wed, 24 October 2007, 02:30

Europe’s most widely circulated newspaper has slammed McLaren for appealing the outcome of the drivers’ world championship.

“If McLaren succeed, they will deserve only one title: Worst Losers, 2007,” the German language Bild-Zeitung proclaimed.

Team chiefs Martin Whitmarsh and Norbert Haug insisted on Tuesday that the appeal is not motivated by the desire to snatch away Kimi Raikkonen’s crown, but rather to clarify the decision of the stewards at Interlagos over the ‘cool fuel’ issue.

“(McLaren) wishes to win races and championships on the track,” a statement issued by the Woking based team clarified on Tuesday.

“However, if there has been an irregularity, which is not the fault of the team, we feel that the matter must be properly examined to ensure that the rules are applied,” it added.

The statement acknowledged that the “significance” and “timing” of the issue is “regrettable”.

But despite insisting that winning the title is not the objective of the appeal, McLaren explained that the team will accept the decision of the FIA’s Court of Appeal — which could hand the championship to Lewis Hamilton.

“Ultimately we feel that the FIA should determine whether an irregularity occurred or not, and the team will fully respect the process and any decision that is ultimately given,” the statement said.

Bild, meanwhile, revealed that the ‘cool fuel’ in the BMW-Sauber and Williams cars was up to four degrees outside the regulations last Sunday.

But the stewards’ reluctance to penalise the trio emerged because while the FIA published the ambient temperature at Interlagos at 37 degrees, the teams’ contracted meteorologist Meteo France said it was only 33 — which could explain the 4 degree fuel temperature discrepancy.

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