Hamilton title would be tainted, says Montezemolo

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SHANGHAI, Oct 2 (Reuters) Lewis Hamilton will have to thank Ferrari if he wins the Formula One title in China this weekend, according to the Italian team's president Luca di Montezemolo.

''I still think that in the spying affair it was a big mistake not to disqualify the McLaren drivers as well,'' the Gazzetta dello Sport Web site (www.gazzetta.it) quoted him as saying after Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix.

''It means that if Hamilton wins the championship, he will also win it thanks to Ferrari because there is a lot of Ferrari in his car.'' McLaren were fined 100 million dollars and stripped of all their constructors' points by the governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) last month for having Ferrari technical information in their possession.

However, the drivers escaped sanctions because the FIA said they been granted an amnesty in exchange for providing evidence.

Hamilton, 22, can become the first rookie to win the championship as well as the youngest world champion if he wins this Sunday's penultimate race of the season in Shanghai.

The Briton leads team mate and double world champion Fernando Alonso by 12 points after the Spaniard crashed in Fuji.

Ferrari have won the constructors' championship.

REUTERS BJR HS1147

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