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McLaren's Hungarian Appeal Set

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  McLaren, Hungarian Grand Prix

McLaren's Hungarian Appeal Set

Anthony Fontanelle
August 21, 2007

McLaren Mercedes’ appeal against being banned from scoring constructors' championship points at the recent Hungarian Grand Prix will be heard on September 19 in Paris.

In retrospection, the Budapest controversy hit qualifying when two-time world champion Fernando Alonso was found by Formula One’s stewards to have held teammate Lewis Hamilton up in the pit, denying the latter his chance to record a final lap time. As a result, the stewards have given Alonso the five-place grid penalty that puts the Spaniard in sixth place with Briton teammate starting in pole position.

The Woking team was also told to lose any constructor's championship points they have won. McLaren said that the team would appeal against this penalty because Alonso’s penalty is not appealable. It could be noted that McLaren stated the Briton’s hold-up was not the Spaniard’s fault and that the former had disobeyed team orders to let the latter pass him. As such, McLaren’s competitive duo was pushed out of sequence for their pit stops.

Hamilton won the Budapest race while Alonso finished fourth. Moreover, the Mercedes-powered team lost 15 points all in all. And although McLaren initially said that they would not be appealing the lost points, the team later changed their tune and logged an appeal.

"The International Court of Appeal will meet in Paris on Wednesday, September 19, 2007 to hear an appeal lodged by the Motor Sports Association on behalf of its licence-holder Vodafone McLaren Mercedes concerning a decision of the Panel of the Stewards of the 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix," the FIA said in a statement. “In the interests of transparency the hearing will be open to members of the press and details of the accreditation procedure will be published closer to the time."

If the Woking team's appeal is meritorious McLaren will increase their lead in the constructors' standing to 34 points over rivals Ferrari.

At the Formula One arena, the Woking team is suffering from a series of weakening blows. This is why it has to be tough as the Mercedes Benz fender to stand tall notwithstanding the heated controversies.

Amid the need for toughness, one driver is said to be showing signs of weakness. Former Formula One Champ John Surtees believes Alonso's actions in the Budapest race are signs of a man under a great deal of pressure.

McLaren felt the brunt on the tension and rivalry between their drivers in qualifying for the Hungarian GP where first Lewis Hamilton refused to let Alonso passed on the track and then Alonso held up Hamilton in the pits, reported Planet–F1. And it is the Spaniard’s "petulance" that most concerns Surtees.

"I have always rated him very highly. But what would appear obvious is that he values a position that is akin to a number one, and that his composure is very much disturbed by the threat of another team member outperforming him,” Surtees said. "Whatever happened before, I was deeply concerned to see the very obvious delaying tactics which took place in the pits. I was concerned not only for Lewis but also for the team and our sport, and also for Alonso as he won his Championships on merit. I believe these actions show weakness rather than strength."

"By showing the petulance he has, he has shown weakness, whereas with his superb record and ability it would have been far more effective in countering the Hamilton threat if he had taken the high ground, complimented Lewis on what he had done and then proceeded to channel all his energies to demonstrate what he can do on the track," explained Surtees.

Source:  Amazines.com

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