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McLaren had leaked inaccurate information in Renault F1 spy scandal

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Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso

The McLaren and Renault spygate scandal took another interesting turn today. The FIA rapped the McLaren formula one team and asked it to correct factual inaccuracies in the statements leaked to the press by them. It seems that McLaren had spun a web of lies to form public opinion just as it had done earlier in the Ferrari spygate scandal.
1. The McLaren team had claimed that Renault F1’s 18 engineers had admitted to seeing classified McLaren information. The truth is that 13 Renault F1 employees had given 18 statements and only 9 had admitted to viewing and discussing confidential McLaren information.

2. McLaren had claimed that Renault had loaded their information into 11 computers in the team’s offices. The truth is that Phil Mackereth had made 11 copies of the McLaren data, there is no record of Renault having the copies on their servers except Phil’s folder.

Only 2 employees had seen the information on computer screens, one being Phil. Also McLaren have backtracked from their earlier allegations that Renault had 2006 and 2007 formula one car blueprints. They admitted that this claim would need investigation.

The whole McLaren statement can be read below ::

The FIA has asked us to correct certain factual errors contained in a press briefing given on our behalf by one journalist concerning Renault F1 and we are pleased to do so. The corrections are as follows.

In our briefing, we stated that there were 18 witness statements from Renault employees admitting that they had viewed McLaren confidential information.

To the extent that this implied that 18 different Renault employees admitted viewing McLaren confidential information it was inaccurate. 13 Renault F1 employees provided 18 witness statements and 9 of them have so far admitted they viewed and discussed the confidential technical information belonging to McLaren.

We stated that the confidential information on computer disks was uploaded onto 11 Renault computers.

This is not accurate. Mr Mackereth copied information onto 11 computer disks. The information on these 11 computer disks was uploaded by Renault IT staff in September 2006 onto Renault’s T: drive and then transferred by Mr Mackereth to his personal home directory stored on Renault’s network server. A back up copy of the material on Mr Mackereth’s personal directory was made onto an unknown number of Renault’s back up servers/tapes.

Our briefing could have been interpreted as suggesting that the Renault employees who admitted sight of McLaren Confidential Information all viewed it on computer screens.

Only Mr Mackereth and Mr Hardie admit viewing McLaren Confidential Information on Mr Mackereth’s computer. The other seven employees who have admitted seeing McLaren Confidential Information admit seeing it in the form of computer print outs or hard copy documents.

We said that the information on the 11 computer disks taken by Mr Mackereth included 780 individual drawings.

This was an error. The information taken by Mr Mackereth on floppy disks, in hard copy form and by email amounts to 762 pages when printed out. The 11 computer disks included 18 individual technical drawings. Mr Mackereth also admits that he took hard copy drawings of McLaren’s dampers.

We said that the McLaren information amounted to the “entire technical blueprint of the 2006 and 2007 McLaren car”.

This requires clarification. The position is that, the McLaren drawings plus the information in a confidential MP4 – 22A Specification document taken by Mr Mackereth constitute a technical definition of the fundamental layout of the 2007 McLaren car and the technical details of its innovative and performance enhancing systems.

Written by Formula One Addict

December 6th, 2007 at 4:23 pm

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