With the battle for the Formula 1 title now looking destined to be decided away from the race-track, McLaren has admitted that it had no option other than to appeal into the outcome of the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.

The Mercedes-powered team went into the weekend hopeful of seeing either Lewis Hamilton or Fernando Alonso lift the title - but instead was left empty-handed after Kimi Raikkonen took victory, and the crown, for Ferrari.

However, then came the news that Williams and BMW Sauber were under investigation for irregularities relating to the temperature of the fuel pumped into the cars of Nico Rosberg, Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld during the race.

Although fuel at a lower temperature could prove to be advantageous and give slightly improved performance, race stewards elected not to punish the two teams - a move which ensured that Raikkonen took the title as all three drivers had finished ahead of Hamilton on the road. Had they been excluded, Hamilton could have moved up to fourth place, which would then see him take the title from Raikkonen's grasp.

With that in mind, McLaren CEO Martin Whitmarsh said the team had no option but to appeal into the stewards decision - arguing that his squad would have come under fire if it had simply sat and done nothing.

"We were surprised at and don't really understand the stewards' decision," he told Reuters. "Therefore we feel that if we hadn't lodged our intention to appeal, we would surely have been criticised by fans and Formula One insiders alike for not supporting our drivers' best interests."

However Whitmarsh was quick to point out that the decision to appeal wasn't simply an attack on Ferrari after a season that has seen the two teams go head to head in the courts as well as on track - admitting that the Italian outfit had won the Brazilian race fair and square.

"On the contrary, Kimi won the race fair and square and Ferrari did a good job to finish first and second," he said. "Our argument is with the stewards' decision in relation to the cars of Rosberg, Kubica and Heidfeld. Hence our decision to lodge our intention to appeal."

 

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