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Dennis admits that McLaren may not appeal

NEWS STORY
15/09/2007

Speaking at Spa Francorchamps ahead of this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix, McLaren team boss Ron Dennis has admitted that his team might not appeal last Thursday's WMSC decision which saw his team excluded from the 2007 Constructors' Championship and fined $100m, one of the biggest fines in the history of sport.

"If we do not appeal this, it will be because we want closure," Dennis told reporters this morning. "The other teams I hope will understand the financial penalty we will swallow in the interests of the sport."

Speaking on Friday, rival team bosses agreed with the punishment, including the fact that Lewis Hamilton and teammate Fernando Alonso are left free to battle for the Drivers' Championship. However, it is this failure to punish the drivers, who must have benefited if their team has benefited, that has caused the most discussion since Thursday's ruling.

Bernie Ecclestone, the team bosses and 'the powers that be' will argue that this is for the "good of the sport", however, it is obvious that in terms of TV viewing figures and indeed the world's attitude towards the sport, the exclusion of the two leading drivers would have been catastrophic.

McLaren has six days in which to make an appeal, however, Dennis has said that he will advise McLaren shareholders not to proceed.

"I don't want to drag this thing on if I can get closure," he said. "And closure is for Formula One. It has to be complete closure."

Dennis will be aware that appeals rarely go well, and only this week Pitpass quoted Paul Stoddart who revealed that had BAR pursued its appeal against a two race ban the Brackley team faced exclusion from the remainder of the 2005 season. A former BAR employee has since confirmed that the team (now under Honda ownership) was given such a warning.

On this basis, an appeal would almost certainly result in the Woking team's total exclusion from the World Championship, not something that Ron Dennis, or indeed the rival teams, Bernie Ecclestone or CVC Holdings would want.

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