McLaren boss Ron Dennis has insisted that the team - and the McLaren company as a whole - will be able to weather the financial storm blown up by Thursday's World Motor Sport Council hearing in Paris.

As well as having its right to constructors' points removed for 2007, the team was fined $100 million dollars for what the WMSC clearly felt was guilt in the 'spygate' story. Although sizeable, however, the financial punishment will be offset by any prize monies earned this year, reducing it substantially - despite the obvious question as to why the team can keep its prize money and not its points.

"Firstly, we will effectively still have as an offset the revenue from the points earned to date," Dennis confirmed, "That will effectively half the size of the cheque we have to sign, if we ultimately accept this fine.

"But, as you can see if you read our accounts, we turn over roughly $450-500 million a year, and we are debt-free, so obviously we are a very strong company with phenomenal growth."

Dennis added that he had 'jokingly asked [Mercedes] Norbert [Haug] if he was going to chip in half', but insisted that the team would not be sunk by having to find the money to pay the fine - something former rival Eddie Jordan suggested to the BBC would have been the case with almost every other team on the grid.

Dennis also denied that, despite rumours to the contrary, he was poised to quit under the strain of the season.

"My personal future was never in question as far as I was concerned," he insisted, "I'm very committed to this company, I'm very passionate about motor racing, and I have absolutely no intention of retiring. I've made a firm commitment to Martin [Whitmarsh] to succeed me as CEO and that decision, whenever it's taken, will not have any bearing on today's affair or any other issues this year."

 

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