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Hamilton wants it fair & square

Hamilton says it would be bad for the sport if the title is awarded to him on appeal, after Mc Laren planned to make an appeal.
AP | By HT Correspondent, London
UPDATED ON OCT 23, 2007 06:39 PM IST

Lewis Hamilton says it would be bad for the sport if the Formula One title is awarded to him on appeal. Hamilton, of McLaren, finished one point behind Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen in the final standings after the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday.

But McLaren has said it plans to appeal a FIA decision not to penalize four drivers investigated for fuel irregularities following the Sao Paulo race.

If McLaren wins the appeal, the British driver _ who finished seventh in the race _ could be bumped up several places in the results and be elevated above Raikonnen _ who won in Sal Paulo _ in the final points standings.

"To have the world title taken away is a bit cruel and probably not good for the sport," Hamilton told BBC Radio. "It would feel weird after Kimi did such a fantastic job in the last two races and won on Sunday.

"I want to win it on the track. You want to do it in style, you want to win the race or (be) battling it out for the lead. Being promoted after other people have been thrown out is not the way I want to do it."

After Sunday's race, FIA opened an investigation into possible fuel irregularities involving BMW-Sauber and Williams, whose drivers finished fourth, fifth, sixth and 10th in the race. If at least two of the three ahead of Hamilton were punished, Hamilton would have taken the title from Raikkonen.

But in a decision more than six hours after the end of the race, FIA said there was not enough evidence to penalize the drivers or the teams. If McLaren goes ahead with its appeal, the case would be heard at FIA headquarters in Paris in the coming weeks. Hamilton said he had a long career ahead of him after an outstanding rookie season.

"I'm only 22 and there's going to be plenty more opportunities for me to win the world championship," he said. "I have no doubt that we can do it in the future. It has been a phenomenal year and it has just been a real pleasure to be part of the team." Hamilton's McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso, who finished third overall, has said he would be "embarrassed" if the title was changed on appeal.

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