FIA to hold spy scandal appeal on September 13

Updated on Aug 08, 2007 05:01 PM IST

Earlier, the FIA's World Motor Sport Council decided not to impose a penalty on McLaren due to insufficient evidence that they benefited from Ferrari data.

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Reuters | By, Rome

The appeal against the decision not to punish McLaren for the Formula One spying controversy will be held in Paris on September 13, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) have said.

Last month, the FIA's World Motor Sport Council decided not to impose a penalty on the championship leaders because of insufficient evidence they had benefited from Ferrari data obtained by suspended chief designer Mike Coughlan.

McLaren, who could be kicked out of the championship, said they did not know Coughlan had 780 pages of Ferrari information at his home.

The Italian team were incensed by the verdict and FIA President Max Mosley sent the decision to appeal.

"The International Court of Appeal (ICA) will meet in Paris on Thursday September 13, 2007 to hear a referral by the President of the FIA concerning a decision of the World Motor Sport Council regarding a breach by the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team of Article 151(c) of the International Sporting Code," an FIA statement read.

"All of the teams competing in the 2007 FIA Formula One World Championship have been given the opportunity to make written submissions to the ICA and have been invited to attend the hearing to supplement their submissions with oral presentations."

The hearing, which had been expected to happen in late August, will now take place with just four races remaining in the season.

Formula One champions Renault said last week that they would attend the appeal because the affair was damaging the sport's image and the outcome was important to everybody.

McLaren, who lead Ferrari by 19 points in the championship, were also at the centre of controversy at last weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix when their two drivers fell out during qualifying.

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton won the race but only after world champion Fernando Alonso was demoted fives places from pole for blocking his teammate in the pitlane and stopping him from recording a faster lap late in the session.

Stewards also ruled McLaren were not allowed to score constructors' points despite Hamilton's win.

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