Martin Whitmarsh said of the court hearings:
At today’s hearing all parties had the opportunity to present evidence and make arguments based on their respective perception of the facts. It now lies with the FIA International Court of Appeal to deliberate and issue a decision.
As I made clear prior to the appeal, the team was seeking to clarify the regulatory uncertainty that has arisen from a decision of the FIA Stewards at the 2007 Brazilian Grand Prix and not to win the Driver’s World Championship.
Our lawyer’s argument that an appropriate penalty would be a disqualification of the cars is based on the fact that this is ordinarily what has occurred during the last 20 years in Formula One when there was a breach of a technical regulation during a race.
Consequently whilst this was the only appropriate argument from a legal point of view, it’s not our ultimate goal in respect of today’s hearing.
McLaren’s lawyer Ian Mill began the hearing by arguing that Hamilton should be awarded the title:
We offer no special plea on behalf of the team, but I ask you to do what normally happens. It’s clear the infringement of this rule did have a performance-enhancing effect.
If you put in cool fuel it increases the horse power.
The principle is clear: if there was a performance enhancement, there was a breach and there has to be a disqualification. I ask you to address this as though it was any team at any stage of the season.
It cannot make a difference it was the last race of the season, and that it will decide the championship. Invariably, whenever there has been a disqualification, there has been a reclassification.
The driver may be entirely innocent… but he has the benefit of the infringing car. It must be right that if the team is disqualified, the driver loses the points as well. In the other case, the drivers were offered immunity if they assisted the FIA.
Ferrari’s lawyer Nigel Tozzi attacked McLaren’s appeal:
This is not the way a Formula One world championship should be won. Mr [Lewis] Hamilton himself, potentially the only beneficiary, has said very clearly he does not want to win the championship this way.
Mr Norbert Haug, head of Mercedes motorsport, has again gone on the record and said McLaren are not appealing in order to claim the championship. Mr Martin Whitmarsh in an interview yesterday said ‘finding a way to award the world drivers’ championship to Lewis retrospectively, is not at all what this is about’.
It could be said McLaren are shameless hypocrites devoid of any integrity, or maybe what their representatives have said should be taken at face value.
If what they want is clarity, then by all means let them have that, but do not allow them to have the world championship this way.
It would be a serious injustice to Mr Raikkonen should the world title be taken away from him, a fact recognised by Mr Hamilton and Mr [Fernando] Alonso. As McLaren are fond of saying: ‘The championship should be decided on the track and not in the courtroom’
BMW’s lawyer Ian Meakin described the appeal as “naked opportunism”.