"Stepneygate" verdict reached: McLaren stripped of '07 championship points, fined $100 million

The ongoing "Stepneygate" espionage scandal that has embroiled Formula 1 this summer has drawn to a conclusion (for the time being, at least), and the World Motor Sport Council has meted out some severe punishment. McLaren F1 has been stripped of all its constructors' championship points for the 2007 season and fined $100,000,000 USD -- a record amount. This puts Ferrari in the points lead and makes them the probable champions this year. The BBC also reports that McLaren must prove that none of its cars are making use of any improperly-obtained Ferrari intellectual property before the beginning of next year's F1 campaign.

McLaren will finish out the current F1 season on the track, and both Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso have retained their accumulated drivers' championship points. The FIA's findings and the council's reasoning behind its verdict will be released tomorrow. McLaren boss Ron Dennis will apparently wait to see this information before making a final decision on whether he's going to appeal the council's decision, though based on his quotes in the BBC's report, it sounds like his mind's made up, and an appeal is all but inevitable.

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[Source: BBC]

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