Ferrari team principal Jean Todt has said that the Scuderia has no intention of dropping its individual legal actions against McLaren, Mike Coughlan and Nigel Stepney, despite the punishments meted out by the FIA's World Motor Sport Council in Paris last week.

Writing on Ferrari's official website, the diminutive Frenchman insisted that he would accept the WMSC's decision, even though he reckons the penalties imposed on McLaren to be 'soft', but feels that the 2007 drivers' championship could be very different if McLaren decided to appeal the penalties imposed - even though Ron Dennis hinted that the matter would be dropped while in Belgium at the weekend.

"If you ask me what they will do, personally, I wish they will do [an appeal]," he said, aware that previous appeals have resulted in stiffer punishments being applied, "I think the result should be different. But again, it's a personal feeling.

"If you get deeply into all this sad story, you realise that it's a very soft sentence, which we respect. Today, it has no meaning to speak about the drivers' championship because we know our major competitor still has time to make an appeal, and we will wait for their decision to be able to comment about that. It will be very important to see if they make an appeal or not. If they do appeal, I think it will change the drivers' situation quite a lot.

"The appeal would probably be judged before the Japanese Grand Prix and we may therefore be facing a completely different situation. Before we know about the appeal, it's not something I'm going to comment on further."

Todt grudgingly accepted the decision to allow Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton to retain their points - and continue adding to their tallies - despite McLaren being stripped of its constructors' championship score.

"We feel it's a soft penalty considering the whole story," he repeated, "What was very important for us, as I mentioned before, is that if you are guilty, you must be penalised. So they were guilty, they were penalised. Now you can always decide enough, not enough.

"I know that, [over the weekend], the president of the FIA confirmed that it was soft, but we know, in this business, that you have to take a lot of things into consideration - and I can understand that. It's much better to have four races, including this one, with all the drivers and I'm not arguing about that, but lots of things were taken into consideration in order to favour the championship rather than this single bad case."

Todt also pointed out that there was no chance of Ferrari stopping its civil actions against McLaren, even if they decided not to appeal.

"For me, what matters are the team's interests," he insisted, "Considering the civil case in England, the penal case in Italy, it has nothing to do with the FIA. It's up to the judges to cover the matter. I know that our president dedicated this success to our supporter who had the idea of informing us about those stolen documents. Fortunately, we had somebody loyal and fair who helped us in that and we don't have any reason to stop any legal action.

"It is not good for F1. When you hear all of those problems in cycling, it is not good for the sport. What is very important is to punish. When things are wrong, you must answer properly to try and make sure it doesn't happen again. The sport, the competition, and all that is fantastic, but you must know where to put the limit. We all want to win, we all want to go to the limit, but it is very important not to pass the limit."

 

Comments

Loading Comments...