Updated: Ferrari crowned after McLaren drop appeal
Scuderia now aims for drivers' championship
"McLaren Racing has notified the (International Automobile Federation) FIA of its intention not to appeal the verdict ofthe World Motor Sport Council," the Mercedes-powered team said in a statement.
The Paris-based governing body had set a 4 p.m. deadline for McLaren to appeal against a sentence meted out last week at a hearing into a spying controversy that has clouded the sport since July.
"Having now had time to study the judgement of the World Motor Sport Council with its lawyers and shareholders, McLaren thinks it is in the best interests of the sport and its goal of winning races and world championships, not to appeal," the statement said.
Team boss Ron Dennis added: "We believe the time has come to put this huge distraction behind us. McLaren wants to win races and world championships. We are fortunate to have, and continue to receive,unwavering support from our employees, sponsor partners and Formula One fans across the world -- all of whom are equally keen that we totally focus on winning this year's Drivers' Championship and the remaining three races of the season."
McLaren had been leading Ferrari in the constructors'standings before the Paris hearing. The decision left Ferrari on 161 points, with BMW Sauber second with 90 and a total of 54 remaining to be won.
The constructors' title is Ferrari's first of the post-Michael Schumacher era. They won six in a row between 1999 and 2004 when the great German was at his most dominant. McLaren still lead the drivers' championship, with 22-year-old British rookie Lewis Hamilton two points clear of Spanish team mate and double world champion Fernando Alonso. Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, winner in Belgium last weekend, is third and 13 points adrift of Hamilton. The next race is in Japan on Sept. 30.
McLaren said it was clear from the full judgement that the World Motor Sport Council had concluded that the charge that one of the team's employees had unauthorised possession of confidential Ferrari information was proven. The Paris hearing was presented with e-mails from earlier inthe year between Alonso and test driver Pedro de la Rosa inwhich they discussed Ferrari information in the possession of chief designer Mike Coughlan. Coughlan was suspended at the beginning of July after a 780-page Ferrari technical dossier was found at his home insouthern England. Ferrari say it was sent to him by now-dismissed employee Nigel Stepney.
"To our regret and embarrassment, the content of the previously unknown e-mails demonstrated possession not being limited to a single person, albeit unsanctioned in any way by the team," McLaren said.
"The major principle of the issue for McLaren is: this information was not used to gain advantage on its cars.
"Moving forwards, and in consultation with our shareholders,we will now review and further strengthen our internal compliance structures and processes."
In a statement Ferrari acknowledged the crown.
"Vodafone McLaren Mercedes has chosen not to appeal against the decision of the FIA World Council taken on 13th September last, thus accepting the sentence handed out for violation of article 151c of the International Sporting Code.
"Ferrari will now invest all its efforts over the final three races of this championship in trying to also win the Drivers' world title."