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Court postpones McLaren's appeal about fuel irregularities

McLaren's appeal to fine four drivers for fuel irregularities at Brazilian Grand Prix was postponed.

Formula One's governing body is to decide whether or not to punish BMW and Williams, whose drivers finished fourth, fifth, sixth and 10th in Sao Paulo on Oct. 21. McLaren's Lewis Hamilton finished seventh in the race, and would have taken the drivers' title if two of the three drivers who finished ahead of him had been disqualified.

The four judges - John Cassidy, Vassilis Koussis, Jose Nacedo E Cunha and Jan Stovicek - will first determine if McLaren's case is admissible, and then look at the arguments about the fuel.

"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," McLaren lawyer Ian Mill said. "The principle is clear: if there was a performance enhancement, there was a breach and there has to be a disqualification."

Hamilton finished in second place in the overall standings, one point behind Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen. Two-time champion Fernando Alonso was third, also one point behind Raikkonen but with fewer second-place finishes than Hamilton.

Raikkonen won the Brazilian GP.

"It would be a serious injustice to Mr. Raikkonen should the world title be taken away from him, a fact recognized by Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Alonso," Ferrari lawyer Nigel Tozzi said.

Both Hamilton and Alonso have said they didn't want the title to be decided by a court.

The hearing took place in London on Thursday because of transit strikes in France.