Bernie denies statements about McLaren points penalty

Fri, 30 November 2007, 10:29

Bernie Ecclestone has denied saying McLaren could be forced to start the 2008 season with a negative points score.

In a transcript still showing on the website of the German-language magazine Auto Motor und Sport this week, F1’s chief executive was asked: “If it turns out that McLaren used Ferrari information for its new car, should they be concerned about beginning the season with a penalty?”

FIA president Max Mosley was last month asked a similar question; namely, if the Woking based team could be excluded after FIA investigators inspect the team’s 2008 car.

“It would be more likely that they would be given a negative point allocation,” he answered.

Ecclestone, meanwhile, answered to Auto Motor und Sport: “I hope not, but it could happen.”

An English version of the Auto Motor und Sport transcript, posted on F1’s official website, is now showing a different question posed to the 77-year-old, who is commonly referred to in F1 circles as the sport’s ‘supremo’.

The question reads: “McLaren still face the investigation of their 2008 car. Is it possible that we may start next season with the risk of another scandal?”

Ecclestone’s answer remains the same, and to the Reuters news agency on Thursday he denied that he ever suggested McLaren’s 2008 points score could be affected.

“I can’t say it and Max Mosley can’t say it,” Bernie insisted.

He acknowledges that Mosley has previously mentioned the possibility of a negative points allocation, but pointed out that the World Motor Sport Council would need to agree.

“So no-one, including Max Mosley, can say anything about that whole thing,” Ecclestone explained.

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