Mclaren Fined 100 Million And Points

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The decision's been made by the FIA and McLaren has a lot to own up to.

On September 12, the FIA World Motor Sport Council decided to exclude McLaren from the 2007 constructors' championship, and fined the team $100 million in response to the McLaren's possession of confidential technical data belonging to rivals Ferrari.

As a result, Ferrari is now set to claim the constructors' title.

In a statement released by the FIA, it was also stated that the drivers' points will not be affected by the decision and they can continue to fight for the championship.

Additionally, no McLaren representative will be allowed on the podium should a McLaren driver win any of the remaining races of the 2007 season.

"I do not accept that we deserved to be penalized in this way," Ron Dennis, head of McLaren, said in a statement. "Today's evidence given to the FIA by our drivers, engineers and staff clearly demonstrated that we did not use any leaked information to gain a competitive advantage.

"The World Motorsport Council received statements from Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Pedro de la Rosa stating categorically that no Ferrari information had been used by McLaren and that they had not passed any confidential data to the team.

"The entire engineering team in excess of 140 people provided statements to the FIA affirming that they had never received or used the Ferrari information.

"We have never denied that the information from Ferrari was in the personal possession of one of our employees at his home. The issue is: was this information used by McLaren? This is not the case and has not been proven today.

"We are also continually asked if McLaren didn't use the information, what was the reason for Stepney and Coughlan collecting all this data about Ferrari? We can only speculate as neither Coughlan nor Stepney gave evidence at today's hearing, but we do know that they were both seeking employment with other teams, as already confirmed by both Honda and Toyota.

"There will be no issue for the 2008 season as we have not at any stage used any intellectual property of any other team."

In July, the FIA held a hearing about the incident involving Nigel Stepney and Ferrari and ruled that McLAren was in breach of article 151c of the International Sporting Code. The governing body decided at that time, though, that there was insufficient evidence of interference to impose a penalty. They did leave the door open for this very kind of hearing that was held today.

The FIA is expected to provide justification for the penalties with a statement on Friday.

From its camp, Ferrari contended that "in light of new evidence, facts and behavior of an extremely serious nature and grossly prejudicial to the interest of the sport have been further demonstrated.

"Ferrari is satisfied that the truth has now emerged."

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