Still no confirmation of McLaren ban

Thu, 13 September 2007, 07:07

An hour after the initial reports broke, there is still no official confirmation that McLaren-Mercedes has been excluded from the 2007 and 2008 seasons.

It is now being suggested that the two-year disqualification was just an official proposal of the World Motor Sport Council, and the 26-man body was subsequently due to vote.

Also rumoured in the Spa-Francorchamps paddock, some three hours’ drive away from Paris, is that the Woking based team will indeed be excluded from the constructors’ championship, with Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton still eligible to battle for the drivers’ crown.

What is clear late on Thursday afternoon is that Hamilton travelled to Spa-Francorchamps after leaving the Paris hearing, but predictably made no comment as he strolled from the paddock gates to the McLaren motor home.

Former McLaren driver David Coulthard commented to the British broadcaster ITV: “I think what we have to do is be very clear in understanding whether the actions of a few are sufficient to bring down a whole company.

“I know Ron Dennis and therefore the McLaren ethos when it comes to the way they compete –- and it’s not one of ‘let’s take that rule and bend it, and turn it back on itself’.

“I also believe that Norbert Haug and Mercedes-Benz have a very high level of sporting integrity. I spent nine years with them, the board members, the chairmen and so on –- they are responsible to a lot of shareholders and the way German companies operate, I cannot believe for one moment that they would poach information from rival teams or use it if it fell into their hands,” he said.

The Scot also acknowledged the possibility of a heavy sanction for McLaren, but reckoned that championship leader Lewis Hamilton would take it in his stride.

“I don’t know many drivers who fall into deep depression because you’ve got to move forward,” the Red Bull racer quipped.

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