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McLaren reacts to illegal gearbox claim

NEWS STORY
06/09/2007

McLaren has reacted to claims that it is under investigation by race officials after using a new lightweight gearbox in Hungary. It is claimed that the gearbox had not been crash tested.

It is claimed that that McLaren could have breached article 16.1.2 of the Formula One technical regulations, which states: "Any significant modification introduced into any of the structures tested shall require that part to pass a further test."

In a statement issued this afternoon, McLaren said:

"McLaren would like to emphasise that we have acted entirely openly, in good faith and in complete compliance with the FIA rules and we are confident that the Stewards will come to the same finding.

On Thursday of the Hungarian Grand Prix, McLaren voluntarily made the FIA aware that the team would be using a new reduced weight gearbox casing. Before Qualifying the FIA asked McLaren to supply after the race weekend some documentation concerning the precise changes that had been made. This was supplied before the Turkish Grand Prix, but subsequently McLaren was advised by the FIA that in their opinion the revised gearbox needed to undergo a repeat crash test. As a result the team chose not to use the lightweight gearbox at the Turkish Grand Prix.

On 30th August the McLaren lightweight gearbox passed both a push off test and an impact crash test without any problem under the supervision of the FIA. Consequently the team will use the lightweight gearbox at the Italian Grand Prix."

It is not clear at this time what punishment, if any, the Woking team might face. As a result of an incident in qualifying, the British team has already forfeited the 15 constructors' points it would have scored after Hamilton and Alonso finished first and fourth, though it is appealing this decision.

As if this wasn't enough, the World Championship leaders learned yesterday that following the FIA's admission that it has received new evidence, it will have to face the World Motor Sport Council next week.

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