Hamilton Stays Positive as Hearing Nears

By: Anthony Fontanelle

Lewis Hamilton believes McLaren will be exonerated at next week's hearing into the Formula One "spy" scandal, reports BBC Sport. The team goes in front of the World Motor Sports Council in Paris next Thursday to answer a charge pertaining to "fraudulent conduct."

The 22-year-old McLaren rookie, leading the drivers' championship, is positive about the whole thing. "I'm very confident it's going to go well, so it is not really playing on my mind at all," says the Briton.

Hamilton, teammate Fernando Alonso and the entire McLaren team face the prospect of having points docked or even ejected off the championship competition if they are found guilty of breaking the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile rules. The and other McLaren car parts are expected to maintain safety, efficiency and precautions. But could the team maintain its presence this season?

Amid the espionage hype, the suspension of chief designer Mike Coughlan who allegedly received illegal information belonging to Ferrari, and the threat of a possible expulsion, enthusiasts believe McLaren can get through the situation unharmed.

McLaren boss Ron Dennis has unwaveringly maintained his and his team's innocence in the whole affair since news broke of Coughlan's suspension on 3 July. He has insisted the 780-page Ferrari technical documents was "only in the possession of one currently suspended employee" - namely Coughlan, BBC Sport continues.

It was alleged by the Scuderia team that some of the members of McLaren, including Martin Whitmarsh, were aware of the Ferrari documents. Although Coughlan was apparently urged to destroy the files, it is a matter of when the other team personnel knew he had them in his possession.

Notwithstanding fears Hamilton's 12-point lead over Alonso could potentially be eliminated if the FIA sees fit, the Briton insists he still supports his boss Dennis. "I know the team is working hard on it," says Hamilton, who is struggling to overcome a 'flu bug in time for Sunday's European Grand Prix in Germany.

"I've only been with the team a year, but I have known Ron nine years and this is something he would never do. That's why I have such great belief in the team. I do feel they are one of the most honest teams out there," says Hamilton. "There are always teams trying to bend the rules in some way, but I honestly believe we are the most honest. For me, I believe we will be all right."

Double world champion Alonso has this to say: "What will happen will happen. They (the WMSC) will decide whatever they think is the good thing, so as drivers we don't care."

Meanwhile, Hamilton's goal will be to get well for Sunday's Nurburgring race. "I don't think it's going to be a problem. I've just caught a bit of 'flu, but it's OK. I'm really up for it. The worst of it was earlier on in the week. Trust me, I'm a lot better now than I was on Monday."

Hamilton drove a few laps of a small karting track just outside the Nurburgring in a promotional event on Wednesday. "We did the Vodafone karting event and it's really nerve-wracking going back in a go-kart because I'm a bit rusty. I know Nico's been in a kart since me," says Hamilton. But he was still clearly struggling. "I've got some good medicine, I'm with a good team, so I'm sure there will be no problems."

McLaren and Ferrari ended the first day of practice at the Nurburgring pretty evenly matched, as a mere 0.139s separated fastest man Kimi Raikkonen and Hamilton, reports Formula One website.

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