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JULY 29, 2000

Dennis angered by Ferrari lobbying

MCLAREN team-boss Ron Dennis has intensified the rivalry between the Woking-based team and Ferrari by accusing the Italians of attempting to influence FIA stewards.

Dennis was angered by Ferrari's decision to send a letter of complaint to the FIA following the alleged infringement on an electronic box of Mika Hakkinen's Austrian Grand Prix-winning car -- where one of two mandatory seals were missing.

"One thing that was very disappointing was the blatant lobbying from Ferrari," said Dennis. "The stewards were correct to disregard it.

"It has certainly stirred emotions inside the team because we are now even more motivated to win the championship."

Dennis said he never had any doubts about the legality of Hakkinen's victory at the A1-Ring and was happy with the end result -- despite losing 10 manufacturers' points.

"There was never any question of legality - the FIA deemed it not only legal but said it was exactly the same as it had been earlier in the year," he added. "We were always confident that we had not done anything wrong."