Bookmaker to refund angry Hamilton backers

Tue, 29 May 2007, 12:45

Paddy Power is offering a full refund for any punter who feels cheated after the ‘team order’-tarnished Monaco GP.

The move will cost Ireland’s largest bookmaker about $100,000.

As the FIA launches an investigation into how British rookie Lewis Hamilton was on Sunday ordered to hold station behind his teammate, Paddy Power is apparently concerned that the affair has angered those who staked their hard-earned money on the fact that McLaren would adhere to the ban on team orders.

“There’s an unwritten rule in betting –- if you can’t win, you can’t lose,” the bookmaker is quoted as saying by The Times.

“The only fair thing to do is give punters their money back.”

Another British chain, William Hill, suspended betting on the outcome of the drivers’ world champion after the FIA launched its probe, but media director Graham Sharpe confirmed that the bookmaker would only pay out to those who correctly predicted Fernando Alonso as the winner.

Sharpe said punters accept that team orders – illegal or not – are part of formula one.

“Whether a team comes out and admits it or not you know full well that on occasion there will be situations where a result, which will suit a particular team better, may well be engineered,” he added.

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