Friday, 16, November, 2007, 19:51
The FIA has rejected McLaren’s appeal of the Brazilian Grand Prix result as inadmissible – thereby confirming Kimi Raikkonen as the 2007 Formula 1 world champion.
After two days of deliberations over the ‘cool fuel’ dispute, the governing body’s International Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the Brazilian GP stewards not to penalise Nico Rosberg of Williams and BMW drivers Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld, who finished fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.
The FIA Statutes require appeals to the ICA against decisions by the stewards of a meeting to be lodged by "at least one of the parties concerned".
Williams and BMW argued that the appeal was inadmissible since McLaren wasn’t an interested party in the stewards’ initial inquiry and did not protest the result at the time, and this argument was accepted by the four independent judges.
Had the stewards’ verdict been overturned, Lewis Hamilton might have been promoted from seventh to fourth place and gained sufficient points to dethrone Raikkonen as world champion.
The FIA issued the following statement:
“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.
“The International Court of Appeal was presided over by Mr Jan Stovicek (Czech Republic), elected President, and composed of Mr John Cassidy (United States), Mr Vassilis Koussis (Greece) and Mr José Macedo e Cunha (Portugal).”