Dennis hopes appeal judges back original verdict

McLaren boss Ron Dennis is worried that if his team are found guilty at the FIA Court of Appeal this Thursday, any title success they gain this year will be tainted by the whole spy affair.

The Court of Appeal is due to hear evidence regarding the espionage saga which has overshadowed much of the 2007 season and centres around chief designer Mike Coughlan being found in possession of secret Ferrari documents.

At the original hearing at an FIA World Motor Sport Council meeting last month, McLaren were found guilty of breaching international sporting regulations but escaped without punishment. Many were baffled at the lack of punishment and Ferrari vowed to keep on fighting, culminating in the appeal hearing this week.

Ron Dennis believes that any satisfaction from any titles won this season now rests on the appeal judges coming to the same conclusions as the original judges.

“We are in F1 to win,” Dennis explained. “But the most important thin is not just winning it is how we win. I do not know what twists and turn are going to take place in the Court of Appeal. If we do not come of that Court of Appeal with an unblemished reputation then the results of the season will be tainted.

“I know the truth and the truth is that McLaren as a company are not involved in this matter, and I just do not want to find through some process that our reputation is damaged. The rumours and spin that I have heard about this matter just leave me amazed. I cannot believe that people can construct some inaccurate views based on no fact whatsoever and be quite comfortable to project them into the pack as being true. It is ridiculous.”

Ferrari team principal Jean Todt has vowed he will make sure the truth according to Ferrari will be revealed in his team s presentation during the appeal hearing.

“It will be very important, this hearing of the 13th,” he explained. “We want the truth to appear, and it will appear. That is something for me, which for Ferrari, for the sport, for me, I want it to appear. And it will appear.”

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