NASCAR & Auto Racing

McLaren hopes to clarify rules with F1 appeal

McLaren’s appeal to penalize four drivers for fuel irregularities at the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix – which could hand Lewis Hamilton the Formula One title – will be heard Thursday in London.

The court of appeal for FIA, motorsport’s world governing body, will hear McLaren’s appeal of the decision by stewards at the Oct. 21 race in Brazil to not penalize BMW and Williams for having the fuel in its cars outside an accepted temperature range.

Their drivers finished fourth, fifth, sixth and 10th in Sao Paulo and if at least two of the three who finished ahead of Hamilton were punished, he would have taken the drivers’ title instead of Kimi Raikkonen.

Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone is concerned about the appeal.

“I don’t think that the Formula One fans would like a championship to be won because the temperature of the fuel,” Ecclestone was quoted as saying in Wednesday’s The Times of London. “If anybody thinks that’s the best thing for Formula One then I’d have a very serious thought about me retiring.”

However, McLaren chief executive Martin Whitmarsh said the appeal was simply to clarify the rules, not make Hamilton world champion.

“Finding a way to award the drivers’ championship to Lewis retrospectively is not at all ... what this is about,” Whitmarsh told the Web site of British magazine Autosport.