If FIA chief had his way, McLaren drivers would be tossed from '07 title chase

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium -- Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso would have been booted out of the Formula One title race if FIA head Max Mosley had gotten his way at a spying hearing, he said on Sunday.

The International Automobile Federation (FIA) president
told BBC radio at the Belgian Grand Prix he was part of a
minority on the governing body's World Motor Sport Council on
Thursday that wanted a more severe penalty.

He also suggested that if either 22-year-old British rookie
Hamilton or Alonso won the championship, a question mark would
remain over the title because the team had Ferrari information
in their possession.

Hamilton has a three-point lead in the standings over
two-time world champion teammate Alonso with four races
to go.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen is 18 points off the lead, with
Brazilian teammate Felipe Massa five further back.

"I would have taken all the points away from Hamilton and
Alonso on the grounds that there is a suspicion they had an
advantage that they should not have had," said Mosley.

"A significant majority on the council thought they should
keep their points, about five [mostly lawyers] thought all the
points should go.

"I'm slightly disappointed because when history comes to be
written and all the emotions are gone they will say, 'Hang on a
minute, we just don't know what happened and would Raikkonen or
Massa have won had it not been for this information?'"

McLaren, which had been threatened with exclusion from this
and next year's championships, were fined $100 million and
stripped of their constructors' points.

While that effectively handed the title to Ferrari, the
drivers' contest was left untouched on the grounds that drivers
had been assured they would not be punished if they cooperated
and provided evidence.

"The lawyers all felt everything should go because how can
you give the cup to a driver who may have had an unfair
advantage over the other drivers," said Mosley.

"But on the other side of it we have a brilliant
championship between Alonso and Hamilton, and the sporting
people were saying 'If you interfere with that you are spoiling
a very good championship. It wasn't the drivers' fault.'

"You could say it's not the drivers' fault but then it
never is," he added.

"A driver can be disqualified because his car is a kilo
underweight, it wouldn't make a difference but you have to have
the principle.

"If you are outside the rules you are not in the game."