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Formula 1 News - September, 2008
McLaren may not proceed with penalty appeal

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Sep.9 (GMM) McLaren may not proceed with its appeal against Lewis Hamilton's Belgian grand prix victory demotion, British newspapers report on Tuesday.

It is suggested that, amid uncertainty about the admissibility of a drive-through penalty appeal, the British team may instead simply turn its attention fully to this weekend's Italian grand prix and then the final four flyaway races of the season.

The Guardian newspaper said McLaren will make its final decision on Tuesday.

As per the requirements, the Mercedes powered team almost immediately notified the FIA that it intended to appeal the verdict, but then has more time to formalise the request with the governing body.

Former triple world champion Sir Jackie Stewart commented: "It's inconceivable that you shouldn't be able to appeal in a situation like this. It could affect the world championship's outcome."

McLaren officials are saying very little on the record about the saga, but Austrian great Niki Lauda - who raced both for Ferrari and McLaren - has revised his opinion that the FIA is not biased in favour of the Prancing Horse.

"I never believed those stories," he told Bild newspaper this week. "But it is clear to me now -- Ferrari does get preference."

Another former racer, Germany's Hans-Joachim Stuck, added: "The pendulum clearly swings in the favour of Ferrari, and that has often been the case."

Also quoted on the matter is Sir Stirling Moss, a celebrated British driver of the 50s.

"I thought it was an absolutely appalling decision," he said.

Less surprising is that Stewart, 69, is robustly on McLaren's side, and the Scot has also used the occasion to renew his call for a panel of professional, permanent and highly-paid stewards.

"F1 attracts the largest capital investment in sport," he said, "but it's being overseen by people who are not doing it full time and we get inconsistent decisions."

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