Raikkonen title loss would be "grubby" claims Ferrari lawyer


Nigel Tozzi, the lawyer representing Ferrari, has told the appeal hearing in London that if Kimi Raikkonen were to lose the 2007 World Championship title, almost four weeks after winning it on-track at Interlagos, the ramifications for the sport would be enormous and that F1 would be seen as "grubby".

"It would be a serious injustice to Mr Raikkonen were the championship to be taken away from him," Tozzi told the International Court of Appeal. "It would be highly damaging for the sport if the title were to be won this way with the fans probably feeling it was more about grubby manoeuvring by the lawyers than by skill behind the wheel.

"As McLaren have always said, the championship should be decided on the race-track and not in the courtroom," he added.

The Italian then accused McLaren of hypocrisy, citing various members of the team as having said that the court room is not the place to decide the championship.

"Mr Hamilton, potentially the only beneficiary, has said very clearly he does not want to win the championship this way," said Tozzi. "Mr Norbert Haug, head of Mercedes Motorsport, has again gone on the record and said McLaren are not appealing in order to claim the championship. "Mr Martin Whitmarsh (McLaren CEO) in an interview yesterday said 'finding a way to award the world drivers' championship to Lewis retrospectively, is not at all what this is about'.

"It could be said McLaren are shameless hypocrites devoid of any integrity, or maybe what their representatives have said should be taken at face value," said Tozzi. "If what they want is clarity, then by all means let them have that, but do not allow them to have the world championship this way."

Earlier, Ian Mill, acting for McLaren, had called for Williams and BMW to be punished, along with their drivers, and for the title to be handed to Lewis Hamilton.

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Published: 15/11/2007
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