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Senna's appeal denied, Prost wins title

PARIS -- Auto racing authorities Tuesday upheld Ayrton Senna's disqualification from the Oct. 22 Japanese Formula One Grand Prix. They fined the Brazilian driver $100,000 and placed him on six months' probation for dangerous driving.

The ruling by the International Automobile Sport Federation means Senna's McLaren-Honda teammate, Alain Prost of France, is the 1989 world champion with Sunday's Australian Grand Prix the only remaining race this season.

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Senna's probation takes effect immediately, barring him from driving at Adelaide, Australia.

McLaren, calling the decision 'grossly unfair,' reitereated its intention to pursue the matter in the French courts.

Senna, who won the world title in 1988, collided with Prost on the 47th lap of the race at Suzuka, but restarted and went on to cross the finish line first. He had to win in Japan to challenge Prost for the title.

However, he was judged to have taken an improper shortcut and the victory was awarded to Alessandro Nannini of Italy.

McLaren appealed even though the action meant the team was, in effect, challenging the title earned by its other driver, Prost.

FISA also cited Senna for dangerous driving in six races between the 1988 Italian Grnd Prix and the Japanese event, including eight instances in the Suzuka race.

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McLaren, in a statement from its headquarters in Woking, England, said: 'Before we even lodged our appeal at Suzuka, we were very conscious of the political environment in which our sport is conducted and the fact that the FIA's International Court of Appeal rarely, if ever, overturns a decision on appeal.

'We have not yet had a chance to consider the Court's reasons for its decision, but we have already instructed our legal advisers to consider the various channels of appeal through the French civil courts.

'We consider the sanction of the Court grossly unfair and will continue to fight for fair play.'

McLaren team chief Ron Dennis said drivers in the past have taken similar shortcuts without being disqualified.

'Next season I would like to see the correct people appointed to run the sport and to be allowed to do their jobs as at the moment there are several who are not making the right decisions,' he said.

Dennis added the personality clash between Prost and Senna, who have not spoken to each other for months, had nothing to do with McLaren's stand over the disqualification.

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