Source AP ©

McLaren team to pay record fine to FIA

More than half of record US$100 million fine will be payed by McLaren to auto racing's world governing body in December. 

FIA, which fined the Formula One team in September for possessing confidential documents belonging to rival Ferrari, said Wednesday the "sum in excess of US$50 million" would be used to promote safety in the sport around the world.

"Especially in countries where the motor sport infrastructure is in need of support," FIA said in a statement on its Web site.

The US$100 million fine included McLaren's expected loss of income. The team was also disqualified from this season's F1 constructors' championship, which was eventually won by Ferrari.

FIA's World Motor Sport Council, which met Wednesday, also approved a request from Singapore that it become the first grand prix to be raced at night.

The 2008 season calendar has a few minor changes, many of which were already known. The European GP will be on a street circuit in Valencia, Spain, and the Turkish GP has been pushed forward to May 11.

The season will again begin in Melbourne, Australia, in March. The calendar also includes 10 races in Europe, along with others in Malaysia, Bahrain, Canada, Singapore, Japan, China and Brazil.

FIA also said there would be a 10-year freeze on engine development, starting in 2008.

"A change can be made after five years but only with the unanimous agreement of all stakeholders and following a further two-year notice period," FIA said. "Total freeze means that there will be no exceptions for development of certain parts of the engine, as is the case under the current regulations."

Ferrari's request to supply two teams with engines in the 2008-09 seasons was also approved, and Spyker's request to change its name to Force India was accepted.

The calendar for the World Rally Championship was also released, with the season opening on Jan. 27 in Monte Carlo and finishing on Nov. 30 with the Wales GP.

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