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A happy New Year

Formula 1 Latest wishes a very happy New Year to all our readers and a fine season to come.

Will it be a repeat of this year, or will rookie Lewis Hamilton take the title that looked in the bag in 2007?

Like the last season it’s likely to be unpredictable to the last. Let’s at least hope that McLaren can avoid the fines and humiliations of the past year.

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FIA rejects Lewis Hamilton car

Oh what a tangled web we weave …

And surely nothing is more tangled than McLaren’s relationship with Formula One authorities over the legality of … well, just about everything it seems.

Lewis Hamilton’s strong hopes of becoming F1 World Champion next season face a huge challenge even before the start the new session. The FIA, Formula One’s governing body, has summoned the McLaren team to court on February 14, one month before the first race of the 2008 jamboree. Investigators are said to have found potentially “illegal traces of Ferrari influence” in the car that Hamilton is lined up to drive.

The Spygate saga is still with us, despite the enormous $100m fine levied against the team last season. Make no mistake, this could be fatal to McLaren and Hamilton’s chance of racing at all in 2008.

It seems that a number of forensic computer experts and lawyers have combed through McLaren’s files and designs and interviewed staff. They have also put the car through a series of stringent checks in an operation unique in Formula One.

Our guess? F1 will not shoot itself in the foot by virtually eliminating its brightest star from next season. To do so would be a financial disaster for the sport. And, after all, what is sport for if not to make money for the organizers and participants?

Watch this space.

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