The FIA’s International Court of Appeal has rejected McLaren’s case. There will be no changes to Brazilian GP results, and that means Kimi Raikkonen is now definitelly 2007 Formula 1 champion. I repeat one more time especially for F1 Racing magazine – it is Kimi Raikkonen who is the champion ! In the words of Jean Todt “a final and desperate attempt to change the result obtained on the track was rejected”. Before I head off to Macau for Saturday and Sunday, here are some immediate reactions:
The full statement by the FIA:
“The FIA International Court of Appeal met in London on Thursday, November 15, 2007, to examine an appeal lodged by the Motor Sports Association (MSA) on behalf of its licence-holder Vodafone McLaren Mercedes against the decision (document 41) of the Panel of the Stewards of the 2007 Brazilian Grand Prix dated 21 October 2007 and counting towards the 2007 FIA Formula One World Championship.
Following a report from the Technical Delegate indicating that the temperature of fuel pumped into the cars N°9 – Nick Heidfeld, N°10 – Robert Kubica, N°16 – Nico Rosberg and N°17 – Kazuki Nakajima, was more than 10 degrees centigrade below ambient temperature, the Stewards of the Meeting met to consider whether a penalty should be imposed.
Having heard the evidence they decided not to impose a penalty as they had sufficient doubt as to both the temperature of the fuel on board the car and to the true ambient temperature.
Having heard the explanations of both parties and having examined the various documents and other evidence, the Court decided that the appeal lodged by Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is inadmissible.”
Reaction from Lewis Hamilton:
“As I have said all along, Kimi deserved to win the 2007 World Drivers’ Championship, and neither I nor anyone at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes had any desire to take it off him in court. That was not the purpose of the team’s appeal. I am looking forward to the 2008 season and racing Kimi, and all my other rivals, on track and hopefully be able to go one better than the second place I achieved in this year’s World Drivers’ Championship.”
Reaction from Ferrari:
“Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro is completely satisfied with today’s decision of the International Court of Appeal, which confirms the result of the Brazilian Grand Prix, as a consequence of which Kimi Raikkonen won the Formula One Drivers’ World Championship.”
Now Jean Todt:
“The decision of the ICA finally brings to an end a very intense season, both on and off the track. Today, a final and desperate attempt to change the result obtained on the track was rejected. Now, all our efforts are focused on preparing for next season.”
And finally Williams (long statement):
“Williams F1 today welcomed the findings of the ICA. The outcome of the hearing means that the Steward’s decision in Brazil in relation to this matter remains in force and valid.
The team did not transgress the regulations, demonstrate any intent or gain any competitive advantage in relation to the management of its race fuels.
In order to respect the Court of Appeal process, Williams has refrained from making any public statement until a conclusion had been reached.
The team can now confirm that the facts of this case are as follows:
1. Article 6.5.4 of the FIA Technical Regulations states that no fuel on- board the car may be more than 10C below ambient temperature.
2. There is no specified source for the ambient temperature measurement, and there is no homologated and sealed sensor for measuring fuel temperature either in the fuel rigs or on-board the cars.
3. Meteo France, who provide official temperature measurements for the FIA and Formula One teams, recorded a maximum ambient temperature during the Brazilian GP of 33C.
4. The lowest temperatures recorded by Williams’ precise on-board sensors in the fuel tank and in the fuel injection rail on either of its cars during the Grand Prix were 31C and 35C respectively.
5. Consequently, as the Stewards found, there was no breach of the regulations.
6. All of the preceding points are consistent with all of the clarifications and opinions related to fuel temperatures expressed in Team Managers’ Meetings and other such forums. The views offered in these meetings fully support Williams’ case as presented to the FIA ICA.
These facts lay behind the Steward’s decision in Brazil. Williams was pleased to be able to present these facts to the ICA and see the Steward’s decision upheld, confirming that both Williams race cars were legal throughout the course of the Brazilian Grand Prix.”