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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Hakkinen Handed Title by FIA




SEPANG, Malaysia -- Eddie Irvine and Michael Schumacher were both long gone when the verdict came down from the International Automobile Federation.


FIA decided late Sunday that the Ferraris, which finished in the top two spots in the Malaysian GP with Irvine in first, would be disqualified. A side deflector panel was found to violate regulations by 10 millimeters.


Despite Ferrari's insistence that there was no performance advantage - although the side panel is related to the aerodynamics of the car - FIA took down the numbers of the Ferraris and put up the No. 1 of Mika Hakkinen, who crossed the line in third place in his McLaren-Mercedes.


Judges from world motor sport's court of appeal will probably meet later this week to decide on the fate of Ferrari, an FIA spokesman said Monday.


The spokesman, Francisco Longanesi, said the earliest the court could meet would be "the end of the week or the beginning of next week."


"They will listen to the parties and then they will take a decision," Longanesi said.


"This is not the way to win a championship," said McLaren boss Ron Dennis, whose team also stands to win the constructors' championship ahead of Ferrari. "It is bad for the sport."


Hakkinen needed a victory in the Malaysian GP with Irvine placing fifth or worse to retain his world crown.


A victory by Irvine in Sunday's race would have kept alive his hopes of taking the title at the last Grand Prix of the season, in Japan next Sunday.


Hakkinen never challenged for the lead in the first Malaysian GP with a tough two-driver strategy by Ferrari keeping the Finnish driver at bay.


The revised finish has Hakkinen winning the race and Johnny Herbert, in a Stewart-Ford, coming in second place. Rubens Barrichello, also in a Stewart-Ford, was third.