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Haug: Spa will drive us on.

Mercedes-Benz motorsport vice president Norbert Haug has warned McLaren's rivals that Lewis Hamilton's penalty in the Belgian Grand Prix will only serve to increase the motivation within the Woking-based squad for the remainder of the Formula One season.

After a chaotic finish to the Spa race, Hamilton survived a late rain shower to secure his fifth win of the season only to then be stripped of victory when stewards deemed him to have gained an unfair advantage for cutting the final chicane while dicing for the lead with Kimi Raikkonen.

McLaren has already revealed that it plans to appeal against the 25 second penalty handed down that dropped Hamilton from first to third and handed victory to Felipe Massa, a result that means the Brazilian has closed to within two points of Hamilton in the drivers' championship standings.

That appeal means that the championship positions remain provisional heading to Monza this weekend for the final race of the European season but Haug said that the events of a week ago in the Ardennes had left McLaren determined to try and secure championship glory through the remaining five races on the calendar.

"In the most difficult conditions we experienced in Spa, particularly in the final stages, Lewis was clearly the best driver; everybody could see this," he said. "He showed great racing with courageous overtaking, and this is what the spectators want to see. In our opinion, Lewis did not put a foot wrong, and foremost, he did not think he gained an illegitimate advantage. So our disappointment was big, when the stewards took away victory from him and the team.

"However, we are fighters. If we would have needed a better motivation for the last five races of the season we have it now. When we went to the airport last Sunday evening, Lewis said to me - preferably we now want to win all remaining races, don't we? I have no objection."

The perfect result for McLaren would be to repeat its 2007 success, when Fernando Alonso led Hamilton home to a 1-2 finish, but Haug added that it wouldn't be easy in Ferrari's back yard.

"Of course it would be nice if we could achieve a similar result like last year when we took a 1-2 victory," he said. "On the track in Monza we will have many strong competitors - even more than usual.

"This will not be a walk in the park, but the ultimate high-speed race in the park."


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Rahul - Unregistered

September 11, 2008 10:31 AM

Lessons learnt for Mclaren from SPA: 1) Dont overtake a ferrari. 2) Dont even get near a ferrari when it rains.You might harm it. 3) Dont celebrate even if you win. Because you never know. 4) At the most Mclaren can be the second best team in F1 at the end of this year and in the years to come.

Powerline 2008 - Unregistered

September 11, 2008 10:43 AM

Don't bother about the next race. Max & the FIA goons are possibly planning how to disqualify anyone who overtakes a Ferrari, especially if it's a McLaren, BMW, Toyota or Honda. Remember these 4 teams were the only ones who condemned Max in his "Whipping-gate" scandal. Max is out to extract revenge. He has a history of taking everything very personally.



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