FIA rejects McLaren appeal, confirms Raikkonen's title

Kimi Raikkonen and the boys at Ferrari can breathe a sigh of relief, as their championship has been formally confirmed by the FIA. The title was appealed by the incredibly sore losers at McLaren, who insisted that because of a temperature irregularity in the fuel in BMW's and Williams' cars at the season closer in Brazil, those four cars should have been disqualified, thereby catapulting McLaren's Lewis Hamilton to the championship. (Yeah, they were serious.)
Hamilton, it should be noted, stated that he didn't want to win the championship that way. And nobody else wanted him too, either. Even F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone threatened to quit the sport if the FIA took the title away from Raikkonen and awarded it to Hamilton over the technicality.

The ruling was issued by a specially-convened panel of the FIA's International Court of Appeal, presided over by a Czech motorsport judge and three others from the United States, Greece and Portugal. The court, which heard testimonies from BMW, Williams and McLaren, convened in London instead of the FIA's headquarters in Paris due to traffic issues in the French capital.

Our take: Rules are rules, but if the FIA had stripped Raikkonen of his title, it would have been bad for him, bad for Hamilton, bad for F1 and bad for motorsports. We'll be waiting for Ron Dennis to find a way to blame us for this, too.

Full statement from the FIA after the jump. Press Release

"The FIA International Court of Appeal met in London on Thursday, November 15, 2007, to examine an appeal lodged by the Motor Sports Association (MSA) on behalf of its licence-holder Vodafone McLaren Mercedes against the decision (document 41) of the Panel of the Stewards of the 2007 Brazilian Grand Prix dated 21 October 2007 and counting towards the 2007 FIA Formula One World Championship.

"Following a report from the Technical Delegate indicating that the temperature of fuel pumped into the cars N°9 - Nick Heidfeld, N°10 - Robert Kubica, N°16 - Nico Rosberg and N°17 - Kazuki Nakajima, was more than 10 degrees centigrade below ambient temperature, the Stewards of the Meeting met to consider whether a penalty should be imposed.

"Having heard the evidence they decided not to impose a penalty as they had sufficient doubt as to both the temperature of the fuel on board the car and to the true ambient temperature.

"Having heard the explanations of both parties and having examined the various documents and other evidence, the Court decided that the appeal lodged by Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is inadmissible.

"The International Court of Appeal was presided over by Mr Jan STOVICEK (Czech Republic), elected President, and composed of Mr John CASSIDY (United States), Mr Vassilis KOUSSIS (Greece) and Mr José MACEDO e CUNHA (Portugal)."

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