Alonso says a Mclaren court victory would be shameful for the sport

Fernando Alonso told Spain’s Cadena Ser radio station that his head “would fall in shame for the sport” if Hamilton wins because of McLaren’s appeal against the Stewards decision over Williams and BMW’s fuel irregularities. 
 
I have to agree, but not because Hamilton should not be Champion, but because the FIA has once again failed to make clear regulations.  If the FIA had stated by which means the ambient temperature is measured, it would be a simple fact that Williams and BMW had or had not breached the regulations.  Then, the only decision would have been as to what punishment they should suffer.  There is a precedent (I can’t remember who was involved) when fuel irregularities resulted in teams losing points, not drivers.
 
The best outcome, in my opinion, is that Ferrari are left to sweat it out until the Court of Appeal hearing.  McLaren make representation that Williams and BMW had breached the rules, but with the request that the teams lose their points and not the drivers, based on the 1990s precedent.  The result would be that Williams and BMW lose their points from the race, but the drivers positions stand, and Kimi Raikkonen remains World Champion.  McLaren should also request that the FIA clarifies it’s rules and future infringements would incur penalties for the teams and the drivers.
 
That would be the honourable thing to do, and there is no risk that McLaren be seen as the villain by bringing about the appeal in order to promote their driver to World Champion.  McLaren were stripped of the Constructors’ Championship after Ferrari leaked confidential information to McLaren, then took them to court for having it, even though there was no evidence that McLaren had used the confidential information to improve their car.  McLaren should use this opportunity to champion the reform of the FIA’s poorly written regulations.

Now BBC have some news

I am pleased to say that I reported on the news before the BBC. You can find their comments here. They add:
Under FIA regulations, no fuel on board a car may be more than 10 degrees centigrade below ambient temperature – the prevailing temperature on the track.
But in initial findings there was a clear discrepancy.
Heidfeld’s fuel was 13C lower than ambient at his first stop and 12C lower at his second.
Kubica’s varied by 14C, 13C and 13C at his three stops, while Rosberg’s was 13C and 12C out at his two stops.
Cooler fuel can give a car a performance advantage.
It is denser, so it can take slightly less time to refuel a car or marginally more fuel can be added in the same time.
Cooler fuel would also give a slight power advantage for about three laps before returning to the temperature out on the track.
However, the total advantage for each car over the race distance was almost certainly no more than a second.

McLaren appeal Stewards’ decision

The Stewards at Interlagos decided not to penalise Williams and BWM Sauber because of ‘inconclusive’ evidence, but Williams have decided to appeal the decision at the FIA’s International Court of Appeal.
 
Fuel samples taken from the four cars of Williams and BMW were 12-14 degrees C below ambient temperature.  Article 6.5.5 of the Formula 1 technical regulations states: “No fuel on board the car may be more than 10 degrees centigrade below ambient temperature.”  Now, there seems to be some confusion on this.  As far as I know, there’s no way to take fuel from a car during a pit stop so I assume it’s fuel from the fuel rigs, but that doesn’t seem to be the problem at hand.
 
Quoting direct from the ITV-F1.com website:
FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer reported that the fuel samples from all four cars showed temperatures 12-14C lower than the ambient at the time.
But the stewards said they could not be certain the temperatures were outside the 10C limit due to conflicting evidence.
They pointed to a discrepancy between the ambient temperature recorded on the Formula One Management timing monitors and that provided by the FIA and team-contracted meteorologists Meteo France – and said there was no “regulation stating in clear terms that for the purposes of Article 6.5.5 the definitive ambient temperature shall be indicated on the FOM timing monitors alone”.
They also said they lacked “a precise reading of the temperature of ‘fuel on board the car’ which shows fuel at more than 10 degrees centigrade below ambient temperature”.
Their statement concluded: “In view of the matters referred to above, the stewards consider thatÂ…there must be sufficient doubt as to both the temperature of the fuel actually ‘on board the car’ and also as to the true ambient temperature as to render it inappropriate to impose a penalty”.
 
Once again, the FIA show their incompetence.  What on earth are they measuring the fuel temperature against?  The fact that they measured the fuel and initially decided that it was outside permitted limits must mean they are measuring the fuel against some pre-defined benchmark, probably the FOM timing monitor thermometer device.  It’s ludicrous to have a regulation stating “no more than 10 degrees C below ambient temperature” without adding “as measured by ….”.  Not stating unequivocally what readings are used is like having a pit lane speed limit regulation “Cars may not travel in the pit lane at speeds greater than 100KPH”, then having some bloke from the FIA sitting in the Stewards office deciding whether or not the cars ‘looked like’ they were going too fast.
 
Let me make this clear, I don’t want Lewis Hamilton’s first World Championship a result of another team’s disqualification post-race.  I hate to see Kimi’s title in doubt like this, but it does give Ferrari a taste of their own medicine.
 
I’ll keep an eye on the situation and post updates as soon as I see them.  That way you can come back to this site for news, or why not subscribe via your RSS/news reader.

Hamilton wins Championship after Williams and BWM disqualified?

I’ve seen the report tonight on the news that fuel irregularities might get Williams and BWM Sauber disqualified from today’s Brazilian F1 Grand Prix.  If that happens, Lewis Hamilton will be promoted to fourth and gain the Drivers’ World Championship title.
 
I don’t think Hamilton will want to win like this.  Much as I’m completely gutted by him not winning, I hope Williams and BMW don’t get DQ’ed.  I want to see Hamilton win the Championship on the track.