This has yet to be confirmed, but if true may turn out to be an historic moment in the history of Formula One for years to come. This brief report indicates that McLaren have been disqualified from the 2007 and 2008 world championships.
In case you haven't been following the story, McLaren somehow got hold of some of Ferrari's IP earlier this year. This has bloomed into one massive case against McLaren. In July the FIA found them guilty, but they handed out no punishment since there was insufficient evidence that they had used that IP. At the time I was rather shocked that the FIA failed to punish McLaren in any way since this was a serious charge that they were proved guilty for.
Then there was another hearing in Paris today and this is where the unconfirmed reports of McLaren's disqualification are coming from. I am now shocked even more so, since I was in no way expecting such a massive punishment. However, when one sits down and thinks about it for a moment and considers what they did, perhaps it was the only decision the FIA could have made.
This is going to have an enormous impact on F1. McLaren were, until now, holding healthy leads in both the driver's and constructor's championships. Now it seems that while the drivers may well be allowed to migrate to another team, they will be docked all current points. That is, not to mention the negative impact due to the loss of the top team will be to the sport.
I'll be waiting for the official report before I start having my heart attack, but this sure came unexpected to me!
UPDATE: It appears the punishment that has been confirmed is that McLaren will be stripped of their constructors' championship points and fined a record $100m, but that the drivers will keep their points. Read here.
Thursday, September 13, 2007