JULY 26, 2000

McLaren disappointed at FIA ruling, but will not appeal

MCLAREN have insisted that they were 'disappointed' and 'surprised' at the race stewards' decision on Tuesday to fine the team $50,000 and deduct 10-points from their constructors' championship standings, but will not appeal against the ruling.

The stewards decided not to punish McLaren driver Mika Hakkinen after his Austrian Grand Prix-winning car was found to be missing a paper seal from its electronic control unit.

But the stewards opted to punish the team for the infringement even though they conceded that McLaren could not have benefited in the race from the missing seal, because one seal was still intact and no data had been tampered with.

In a statement the McLaren team said: "The team is disappointed that the Stewards felt that it was appropriate to deduct the constructors' championship points achieved by Mika and impose a fine of US $50,000 on the team. The severity of the penalty was surprising to the team."

McLaren managing director Martin Whitmarsh added: "After the decision we now consider the matter closed. We will continue to concentrate on winning the Formula One World Championship and this weekend's event at Hockenheim.

"Whilst the loss of the constructors' championship points is very disappointing, we believe that with our current performance we will, by the end of the season, render the loss academic."

Hakkinen, however, was delighted to have finally secured his second race win of the season and vowed to help the team regain the lost constructors' points along with team-mate David Coulthard.

"Obviously, I am pleased to have my victory in Austria confirmed and I am now looking forward to the German Grand Prix," said Hakkinen. "I am, of course, as part of the team, disappointed that we have lost constructors points, but I am determined that with David we will help the team win this year's constructors' championship."