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McLaren will contest Formula One crown

SAO PAULO, Brazil — Kimi Raikkonen will keep the Formula One drivers' title — for now.

McLaren confirmed Monday that it will appeal FIA's decision not to penalize four drivers investigated for fuel irregularities following the Brazilian Grand Prix won by Raikkonen.

"We will lodge an appeal," McLaren head of media communications Ellen Kolby said in an e-mail.

The ruling by the sport's governing body meant that Lewis Hamilton remained the seventh-place finisher Sunday, two spots lower than he needed to win the title in the season-ending race. The McLaren driver could have guaranteed a championship with a top-two finish.

After the race, FIA opened an investigation of BMW-Sauber and Williams, whose drivers finished fourth, fifth, sixth and 10th. If at least two of the three ahead of Hamilton were punished, he would take the title from Raikkonen.

FIA concluded, however, that there was not enough evidence to penalize the drivers or the teams.

"We were surprised at, and don't really understand the stewards' decision," McLaren CEO Martin Whitmarsh told the British Press Association. "We feel if we had not lodged our intention to appeal we would surely have been criticized by fans and Formula One insiders alike for not supporting our drivers' best interests."

He stressed the appeal was not an attack on Ferrari.

"Our quarrel, if you can call it that, is not with Ferrari or Kimi Raikkonen," he said. "On the contrary, Kimi won the race fair and square, and Ferrari did a good job to finish first and second. Our argument is with the stewards' decision in relation to the cars of (Nico) Rosberg, (Robert) Kubica and (Nick) Heidfeld."

The fuel temperatures in the cars of fourth-place Rosberg of Williams, fifth-place Kubica of BMW-Sauber, sixth-place teammate Heidfeld and Williams' Kazuki Nakajima were as much as 57 degrees below the air temperature, FIA said.