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Hakkinen's Austria win stands, but team lose constructors' points

MIKA HAKKINEN'S Austrian Grand Prix victory has been allowed to stand after the Federation Internationale l'Automobile (FIA) ruled the team had not benefited from the missing seal on the electronic control unit of his McLaren-Mercedes car.

But the Woking-based team did not escape without punishment after the sport's ruling body deducted the 10-points for the victory from the team's constructors' championship total.

McLaren were also fined 35,000 (pounds) for failing to comply with article seven of the Formula One Sporting Regulations which rules that teams must maintain certain conditions of eligibility and safety.

Hakkinen raced to victory at the A1-Ring last weekend, but his win was immediately put into doubt after FIA checks showed the electronic control unit to be missing one of two mandatory seals.

At a meeting in London on Tuesday, team-boss Ron Dennis and managing director Martin Whitmarsh put forward their case to race stewards Bryan Brophy, Hermann Tomczyk and Walter Jobst.

The statement read: "As it is the duty of the team to ensure that their car complies with the conditions of eligibility and safety throughout practice and the race the Stewards impose a fine of US$50,000 (35,000 pounds) on the team and because of exceptional circumstances of this case only deduct the points awarded to the car in the constructors' championship."

McLaren now trail Ferrari by four points in the constructors' championship with a total of 88 points to 92. Hakkinen keeps his 48 points total in the drivers' championship, two points behind team-mate David Coulthard and eight behind leader Michael Schumacher.

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