Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Haug expects World Council exoneration

McLaren built a car ''with its own ideas''
Monza results were proof, says Haug

Norbert Haug says he is confident that McLaren-Mercedes will escape significant sanction at this week's 'spy saga' hearing of the World Motor Sport Council in Paris.

The paddock consensus at Monza was that, while speculation of championship exclusion was perhaps unlikely for the Woking-based team, the FIA members may penalise Ron Dennis' outfit by -- for example -- stripping it of all its constructors' points.

But Haug, Mercedes' Competition Director, told Premiere: "I do not expect anything at all. I expect that we will have our own viewpoint confirmed, because we have not done anything that is against any rules."

McLaren was in July found guilty of breaching the International Sporting Code because its suspended chief designer Mike Coughlan admittedly possessed 780-pages of sensitive Ferrari data.

The World Council is reconvening this week due to 'new evidence' coming to light. The FIA said in July that if it was proved that McLaren used Coughlan's dossier, the team could be excluded from the 2007 and 2008 championships.

After the team secured a dominant one-two over Ferrari on Sunday, Haug insisted: "We did not copy anything, but rather built a car with our own ideas. And I think we proved this (at Monza)."

Asked if he had considered that McLaren may be kicked out of Formula One, he answered: "Not for a second -- not even for a millisecond."

The German also backed the team's Chairman and Principal Ron Dennis, who after the Italian Grand Prix broke down in the arms of his wife Lisa.

"Generally I would say he is not an emotional person," Haug explained, "but for weeks now he has heard constant accusations with which he cannot at all identify."

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