Justice has been served in Max Mosely’s opinion, in probably one of the biggest news stories of the season, McLaren have been banned from the constructor’s championship, their points docked for spying on Ferrari and having their technical info in possession. However Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso still retain their points and can take part in the driver’s championship. The team have also been fined a whooping 100 million dollars (USD). FIA’s official statement read ::
“”The WMSC has stripped Vodafone McLaren Mercedes of all constructors’ points in the 2007 FIA Formula One World Championshiop an the team can score no point for the remainder of the season *.
“Furthermore, the team will pay a fine equal to 100 million dollar, less the FOM income lost as a result of the points deduction.
“However, due to the exceptional circumstances in which the FIA gave the team’s drivers an immunity in return for providing evidence, there is no penalty in regards to drivers’ points **.
“The WMSC will receive a full technical report on the 2008 McLaren car and will take a decision at its December 2007 meeting as to what sanction, if any, will be imposed on the team for the 2008 season.”
The full reasons for this decision will be issued on the 14th September 2007.
* Points gained by other teams so far this season will not be affected.
** No McLaren representative will be allowed on the podium should a McLaren driver win in any of the remaining races of the 2007 season.”
The decision basically hands the 2007 formula one constructor’s championship to Ferrari who are now 57 points ahead of now second place BMW sauber F1 team.
Ferrari released the following statement :
“In light of new evidence, facts and behaviour of an extremely serious nature and grossly prejudicial to the interest of the sport have been further demonstrated.
“Ferrari is satisfied that the truth has now emerged.”
Ronn Dennis was meanwhile relieved that McLaren can still race in the 2007 and 2008 seasons (they must prove no Ferrari data was used in their car)
“Having been at the hearing I do not accept that we deserve to be penalised or our reputation damaged in this way,” he said.
“Today’s evidence given to the FIA by our drivers, engineers and staff clearly demonstrated we did not use any leaked information to gain a competitive advantage.
“The WMSC received statements from Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Pedro de la Rosa stating categorically no Ferrari information had been used by McLaren, and that no confidential data had been passed to the team.
“The entire engineering team in excess of 140 people provided statements to the FIA affirming they had never received or used the Ferrari information.
“We have never denied that the information from Ferrari was in the personal possession of one of our employees at his home.
“We are also continually asked if McLaren didn’t use the information, what was the reason for Stepney and Coughlan collecting all this data about Ferrari? We can only speculate as neither Coughlan nor Stepney gave evidence at today’s hearing, but we do know that they were both seeking employment with other teams, as already confirmed by both Honda and Toyota.”
Martin Whitmarsh meanwhile said that they were infact contemplating an appeal
Martin Whitmarsh:”We believe we have got the grounds for an appeal, but of course we are going to wait for the findings of the FIA, which we believe are going to be published tomorrow, and will consider those carefully before we make that decision.
The nature of new evidence was also disclosed by McLaren, and as expected they were email exchanges between the drivers and also Mike Coughlan. Ron Dennis had said :
“I can tell you that the evidence today was primarily email traffic between our drivers, and in one instance, Mike Coughlan.”
So his chief designer knew about the Ferrari data, his drivers did , but apparently the rest of the team didnt.