McLaren: We had no choice

McLaren have announced that they felt they had no choice but to appeal the stewards decision not to penalise Williams and BMW over fuel irregularities. Martin Whitmarsh, CEO of McLaren, has said that the media and public would have unleashed a barrage of criticism against the team had they stood back an accepted the decision without question.

“We were surprised at and don t really understand the stewards decision,” Whitmarsh explained. “Therefore we feel that it we hadn t lodged our intention to appeal, we would surely have been criticised by fans and Formula 1 insiders alike for not supporting our drivers best interest.”

Whitmarsh is keen to dismiss and speculation that their appeal is a veiled attack against Ferrari. “I want to stress that our quarrel if you can call it that is not with Ferrari or Kimi Raikkonen,” he continued.

“No, on the contrary: Kimi won the race fair and square and Ferrari did a good job to finish first and second. Our argument is with the stewards decision in relation to the cars of Rosberg, Kubica and Heidfeld, hence our decision to lodge our intention to appeal.”

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that even if McLaren do successfully overturn the stewards decision not to penalise the trio, Hamilton may still not win the 2007 drivers world championship.

The stewards originally chose not to punish BMW or Williams when their fuel was found to be too cold. Cool fuel has two main benefits more fuel can enter the car due to fuel being denser, the cooler it is, and cool fuel also gives a minor power boost. The stewards found that there was insufficient evidence to prove that the fuel that entered the cars was too cold hence the lack of punishment.

Article 168 of the International Sporting Code states that it is at the stewards discretion as to whether lower placed cars are moved up the rankings in the event that cars above them are disqualified. This indicates that even if the appeal is successful and Kubica, Rosberg and Heidfeld are disqualified, Hamilton may not be moved up the rankings from seventh to fourth and hence the title would still remain with Raikkonen.