If FIA chief had his way, McLaren drivers would be tossed from '07 title chase

Updated: September 16, 2007, 8:44 AM ET
Reuters

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium -- Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso would have been booted out of the Formula One title race if FIA head Max Mosley had gotten his way at a spying hearing, he said on Sunday.

I would have taken all the points away from Hamilton and Alonso on the grounds that there is a suspicion they had an advantage that they should not have had.

FIA chief Max Mosley

The International Automobile Federation (FIA) president told BBC radio at the Belgian Grand Prix he was part of a minority on the governing body's World Motor Sport Council on Thursday that wanted a more severe penalty.

He also suggested that if either 22-year-old British rookie Hamilton or Alonso won the championship, a question mark would remain over the title because the team had Ferrari information in their possession.

Hamilton has a three-point lead in the standings over two-time world champion teammate Alonso with four races to go.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen is 18 points off the lead, with Brazilian teammate Felipe Massa five further back.

"I would have taken all the points away from Hamilton and Alonso on the grounds that there is a suspicion they had an advantage that they should not have had," said Mosley.

"A significant majority on the council thought they should keep their points, about five [mostly lawyers] thought all the points should go.

"I'm slightly disappointed because when history comes to be written and all the emotions are gone they will say, 'Hang on a minute, we just don't know what happened and would Raikkonen or Massa have won had it not been for this information?'"

McLaren, which had been threatened with exclusion from this and next year's championships, were fined $100 million and stripped of their constructors' points.

While that effectively handed the title to Ferrari, the drivers' contest was left untouched on the grounds that drivers had been assured they would not be punished if they cooperated and provided evidence.

"The lawyers all felt everything should go because how can you give the cup to a driver who may have had an unfair advantage over the other drivers," said Mosley.

"But on the other side of it we have a brilliant championship between Alonso and Hamilton, and the sporting people were saying 'If you interfere with that you are spoiling a very good championship. It wasn't the drivers' fault.'

"You could say it's not the drivers' fault but then it never is," he added.

"A driver can be disqualified because his car is a kilo underweight, it wouldn't make a difference but you have to have the principle.

"If you are outside the rules you are not in the game."

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