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McLaren confirmed cheats, email exchange nails the coffin

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In a shocking turn of events, its now revealed that McLaren infact had been cheating this season. Both in terms of getting out Ferrari’s strategies and also in terms of trying to incorporate their technical specs in their own formula one cars.

Monaco Grand Prix 2007

Felipe massa Turkey Grand Prix
The FIA slammed Ron Dennis’s version that Mike Coughlan was the only one in possession of secret Ferrari blueprints. The FIA made the following observations :

– Coughlan had more information than previously appreciated and was receiving information in a systematic manner over a period of months;
– the information was distributed, at least to some degree within the McLaren team.

– the information being disseminated within the McLaren team included not only highly sensitive technical information but also secret information regarding Ferrari’s sporting strategy;

– Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren’s test driver, requested and received secret Ferrari information from Nigel Stepney which he knew to be illegitimate and expressly stated that the purpose of his request was to run tests in the simulator;

– the secret Ferrari f1 information was shared with Fernando Alonso in email exchanges.

Further it was established beyond doubt that McLaren personnel tried and wanted to implement Ferrari features in their own F1 cars.

On 21 March 2007 at 09.57 Pedro de la Rosa wrote to Mike Coughlan in the following terms:

“Hi Mike, do you know the Red Car’s Weight Distribution? It would be important for us to know so that we could try it in the simulator. Thanks in advance,

Pedro.
p.s. I will be in the simulator tomorrow.”

Fernando Alonso replied to this e-mail on 25 March 2007 at 12.31 (they were in different time zones). His e-mail includes a section headed “Ferrari” in which he says “its weight distribution surprises me; I don’t know either if it’s 100% reliable, but at least it draws attention”. The e-mail continues with a discussion of how McLaren’s weight distribution compares with Ferrari’s.

Pedro de la Rosa replied on 25 March 2007 13.02 stating the following:

“All the information from Ferrari is very reliable. It comes from Nigel Stepney, their former chief mechanic – I don’t know what post he holds now. He’s the same person who told us in Australia that Kimi was stopping in lap 18. He’s very friendly with Mike Coughlan, our Chief Designer, and he told him that.”

Mr Alonso wrote that it is “very important” that McLaren test the gas that Ferrari uses in its tyres as “they have something different from the rest”, and “not only this year. there is something else and this may be the key; let’s hope we can test it during this test, and that we can make it a priority!”.

Later . de la Rosa wrote to Mr. Coughlan and asked “ can you explain me as much as you can, Ferrari’s braking system with the [reference to detailed technical information]? Are they adjusting from inside the cockpit…?”

After a number of exchanges about whether a description would be too complicated to articulate by e-mail, Mr. Coughlan replies on 14 April 2007 at 14.40 with a technical description which purports to be a description of the principles underpinning the Ferrari braking system.

Ferrari have confirmed that the description given is an accurate (though incomplete) description of the principles of its braking system. Coughlan concludes with a statement that “we are looking at something similar”. This latter statement strongly suggests that the McLaren system was being worked on from a position of knowledge of the details of the Ferrari system, which, even if the Ferrari system not being directly copied, must be more advantageous to McLaren than designing a system without such
knowledge.

My personal opinion :: McLaren’s act is a disgrace to the sport of F1, all this time Mr. Ron Dennis had been acting innocent, McLaren drivers Fernando Alonso and Pedro De La Rosa were also acting like nothing was amiss. Truly shocking !

Also McLaren fans running around the place professing McLaren’s innocence should now take a rest. To think McLaren would have gotten away if it hadn’t been for this exchange and the so called biased appeal. After reading all the emails , it really looks to me that McLaren should indeed have been banned from racing for 2 seasons. Ron Dennis had earlier called Nigel Stepney an approver, turns out not only was he sharing Ferrari technical information, he was also sharing pit strategies

Another fact that will most likely land Nigel Stepney behind bars too ::

In total, at least 288 SMS messages and 35 telephone calls appear to have passed between Coughlan and Stepney between 11 March 2007 and 3 July 2007.

The number of contacts increased considerably during private tests carried out by Ferrari in Malaysia at the end of March 2007 and in the run up to and during the days of the Grands Prix in Australia on 18 March 2007, Malaysia on 8 April 2007, Bahrain on 15 April 2007 and Spain on 13 May 2007.

Written by Formula One Addict

September 14th, 2007 at 6:18 pm

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