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OCTOBER 7, 2000

McLaren chief Dennis attacks FIA

MCLAREN team chief Ron Dennis has launched an attack on the 'new' rules introduced by FIA safety delegate Charlie Whiting on Friday for Sunday's championship-deciding Japanese Grand Prix and said the inclusion of Italian steward Roberto Causo at the event was "unsatisfactory."

Speaking ahead of a race which could see German Michael Schumacher win Ferrari's first drivers' world title for 21 years, Dennis said the 'new' rules about blocking and unsporting behavior were "arbitrary" and worked against his team and their choice of tactics.

He also said the inclusion of lawyer Causo as one of the three race stewards for the Suzuka event was wrong because it was "not right that a steward should have a vested interest in the outcome of the world championship."

His strong criticisms of the stewards' composition and the new interpretations of unsporting driving is the latest outburst from Dennis directed at FIA president Max Mosley.

Mosley spoke out this week at claims that he, and FIA vice-president Bernie Ecclestone, are biased towards Ferrari and labelled other teams "paranoid."

Dennis, on Saturday, said: "Our perception is that the interpretation placed on circumstances is different now to that placed in previous races. Whilst in principle, we don't have a problem with any change, I think such changes should be made at the end of the season."

He added: "Clearly, it is not a change that is conducive to the possible strategy we might wish to employ tomorrow -- which has proved to be acceptable in the past. We don't agree with it, but we have no alternative but to live with it."

Talking about the inclusion of an Italian steward, he said: "It's unsatisfactory in a race that which could decide the world championship that one of the stewards is Italian."

He said the McLaren team had raised the issue with the ruling body "but had been presented with a fait accompli. But everyone is desperately keen to maintain the value of the world championship."