McLaren espionage hearing

Devon

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McLaren drawn into criminal investigation
Sunday, 09, September, 2007, 11:06

The spying controversy that has engulfed Formula 1 took a further dramatic twist on Saturday evening when Italian magistrates informed McLaren boss Ron Dennis and other senior team members that they have become part of a criminal investigation.

Law officers turned up in the Monza paddock on the eve of the Italian Grand Prix to notify Dennis and several of his employees that they are being investigated for sporting fraud and industrial espionage.

?The team was informed on Saturday evening by Modena magistrates that they are involved in an ongoing investigation,? a McLaren spokeswoman confirmed.

Italian news agency ANSA claims that, in addition to Dennis, those under investigation are former high-ranking Ferrari employee Nigel Stepney and McLaren?s suspended chief designer Mike Coughlan ? the two men at the heart of the alleged leak of classified Ferrari technical data ? as well as McLaren?s COO Martin Whitmarsh and senior employees Paddy Lowe, Jonathan Neale and Rob Taylor.

The legal notification may not necessarily lead to charges being brought, but the involvement of the Italian judiciary ratchets up the already intense pressure on Dennis and McLaren.

F1?s governing body the FIA announced last week that it has reconvened its World Motor Sport Council for an emergency session on September 13 after new evidence surfaced on the extent of McLaren?s involvement in the spying case.

The British team, which currently leads both world championships, faces a potentially draconian penalty if the WMSC revises its original verdict that it did not benefit from the leaked technical data contained in a 780-page dossier found at Coughlan?s home.

?If it is found in the future that Ferrari information has been used to the detriment of the championship, we reserve the right to invite McLaren back in front of the WMSC where it will face the possibility of exclusion from not only the 2007 championship but also the 2008 championship,? the FIA said in July.

Source


McLaren are in for a tough ride.
 

HondaF1

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See, this is why I like Martin Brundle.

Brundle: Spy row must not ruin F1

ITV Sport commentator Martin Brundle says Formula 1's power-brokers must remember their responsibility to the sport and its fans as the spiral of political intrigue seemingly spun ever more deeply out of control in the Monza paddock.

Rumour and speculation over McLaren's fate when the World Motor Sport Council meets next Thursday to re-investigate how deeply confidential Ferrari information seeped into the team's organisation has entirely over-shadowed the on-track action at the Italian Grand Prix this weekend.

And Brundle has warned that the sport is in danger of suffering serious long-term damage if the principal characters from the FIA, McLaren and Ferrari do not act responsibly to quieten the off-track row.

"For me , Formula 1 needs to remember its responsibility to the fans," he told ITV-F1.com.

"Events over the last 24 hours here at Monza have had a very bitter feel to them and this is not what the sport is about, or what the fans care about."

In his column for the Sunday Times, Brundle suggested that the circumstances in which McLaren finds itself - facing expulsion from the 2007 and '08 world championships, or at the very least a significant constructors' points deduction if found guilty of espionage - had "the feel of a witch-hunt, driven by the very people who have a primary responsibility to the sport."

Ferrari, whose dossier was allegedly passed to McLaren's now-suspended chief designer Mike Coughlan by Nigel Stepney, is the team that stands to gain most competitively from a McLaren censure.

Felipe Massa is currently 15 points behind Lewis Hamilton in the drivers' championship and Ferrari 11 behind McLaren in the constructors'.

Brundle pointed to a pattern in the timing of previous off-track rows that involved the Scuderia during a world title campaign.

"In all the leaked letters and positioning there is the feeling of a plan, an end game ? and it's difficult not to see that through the prism of past controversies, often at around this time of year, involving Ferrari's fight for the world championship," he said.

"Think back to Fernando Alonso's incorrect grid penalty here last year in the midst of his title fight with Ferrari.

"Think back to four years ago when the Michelin tyres used by Ferrari's rivals were suddenly declared too wide, having been the same size for the previous three years."

The FIA denied on Saturday that it was pursuing any agenda against McLaren.

"The suggestion that the FIA's on-going investigation is about anything other than the pursuit of sporting fairness, demonstrates a blinding refusal to accept basic fact," said an FIA spokesman.

While F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone responded to suggestions that McLaren's Ron Dennis was considering withdrawing his team, by saying that he should instead stand and face the music.

"If they've done something really bad, wrong and they've got a big advantage, you've got to take it on the chin and say, 'I've been caught with my hand in the till, let's see how we can get out of it,'" he declared.

Brundle agrees, but added that caution should be used when deciding the nature of the punishment, that it does not hurt the sport, or the public's, wider interests.

"If McLaren have broken the rules, they should be punished," he said.

"But if the FIA finds them guilty and bars them from this year's championship and probably the next, it will have a profound effect on the sport. Manufacturers and sponsors will all react to the damaged credibility.

"If the FIA takes further constructors' points from McLaren, it will cost the team tens of millions of pounds and generate potential difficulties with sponsor and driver contracts, but at least it will not wreck the future of Formula 1," he added.

"If it bars them from the remaining races in this year's championship and beyond, it will be like hitting the self-destruct button."

Source
 

fbc

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Good article - Martin speaks the truth, particularly about F1 forgetting about the fans.
 

HondaF1

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Red_Bull

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Journo admits concocting email quotes


An Italian journalist, who claimed he had evidence of the Fernando Alonso/Pedro de la Rosa's email that has landed McLaren in hot water, has confessed to making up the quotes.

Pino Allievi, a journalist working for the Gazzetta dello Sport, wrote an article last week that included an extract of the email conversation between Alonso and de la Rosa.

In it, he claimed the de la Rosa revealed he knew how Ferrari got the Bridgestone tyres to work so well after being told by suspended McLaren chief designer Mike Coughlan, who in turn had obtained the information from sacked Ferrari mechanic Nigel Stepney.

However, Allievi has now confessed to concocting the quotes, saying that he did insist that the quotes were 'hypothetical' in their nature.

He told the Associated Press: "I made a free interpretation of what might have been said in the email."

McLaren are set to face the World Motor Sport Council later this week, during which the true nature of that email is reportedly the FIA's key to nailing McLaren.
Source

I have no respect for the Italian media.
 

HondaF1

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Thats why the Ferrari mechanic had his head in his hands, cos he knew the email evidence they had was fake :lol:
 

Red_Bull

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Two things. Firstly, Norbet Haug has come out and claimed that McLaren will be acquitted of the charges laid against the team. This represents supreme confidence on his part I suspect, particularly when you consider the 'new evidence' that has been apparently brought to light. I don't know whether he's more informed than the rest of us, but its slightly reassuring nonetheless.

Secondly, McLaren have now implicated Renault in the spying scandal. Personally I'm not sure this is a wise move, as all it really does is serve to lower the team to Ferrari's company standard, which belongs in the sewer. Another thing, surely the lawyers for McLaren really need to be concentrating on matters relating to them and their case, and not worry about what Renault might or might not have done. Such matters can be left until afterward.

I've also heard unconfirmed rumours that McLaren are also going to name Ferrari as another team that should be investigated. Seems only fair in that it was that company's lack of adequate security measures and complacency that started this whole scandal in the first place. Don't forget also, the Toyota issue that was brought to a head in 2003 (surely that sets a precedent that should see McLaren acquitted?). Ferrari therefore must surely be doing something wrong with their procedures to allow such data to fall into rival hands. Negligence comes to mind, as well as the matter of bringing the sport into disrepute. That ought to carry penalties, so Ferrari arent entirely guilt free here either.

You'll find the sources to the Haug comments and Renault investigation over at Planet-F1. I can't be bothered posting them here!
 

ViperVX

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Well in 48 hours we will know everything.

P.S

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Ferrari would deserve to win the Formula One constructors' title even if victory came as a result of McLaren being punished in a spying scandal, the Italian team's president said on Tuesday.

The sport's governing body meets on Thursday to consider new evidence in the case and the International Automobile Federation (FIA) has already warned leaders McLaren that they could be excluded from this and next year's championships.

Ferrari, second in the standings, believe their former engineer Nigel Stepney leaked information about their cars to now suspended McLaren chief designer Mike Coughlan and that the British team have benefited from the dossier.

"It would be a victory richly deserved," Luca di Montezemolo told reporters at the Frankfurt Auto show.

"If we win the world championship over a table it would be deserved because the ones who lose would have won it in a way which was not correct, not loyal and not sport."

An original hearing concluded that Ferrari technical information was seized from Coughlan's home but it could not be proved that McLaren had gained from the files.

Ferrari were disgusted by the decision not to punish their rivals but are now eagerly awaiting Thursday's new meeting of the FIA's World Motor Sport Council in Paris.

"It is an awful story. When things go bad the less you speak of it the better," Montezemolo added. "All that interests us above all is that this story is over in a hurry and ends with the truth."

source = http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/070911/2/v87t.html
 
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avanti

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^^ Why?? If, and I say IF, McLaren has done something wrong they should be punished! Is there someone who thinks that if it is proven that they did what they are suspected of doing they should not be punished??
 

GraemeH

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^^ Why?? If, and I say IF, McLaren has done something wrong they should be punished! Is there someone who thinks that if it is proven that they did what they are suspected of doing they should not be punished??
But the trouble is at this point, we'll never know. Even if they're found guilty now, in most peoples minds it won't mean anything because of the history;

-The fact that they were found to not be guilty as a team (rather than one mans actions) in the past
-Ferrari's constant mudslinging and press allegations, the press making up e-mails etc.

It would mean people wouldn't take a guilty verdict seriously anymore anyway because the whole legal process has been compromised by those things.

So thanks to Ferrari, whether McLaren are found guilty or not by the court, they'll be not be guilty in the minds of everyone that isn't a Ferrari fan anyway and Ferrari will just lose public sympathy regardless of the verdit.

Ferrari are willing to take the PR disaster/public revile because it means winning something they wouldn't have otherwise. But that's Ferrari's way, that's why Schumacher went so well with them.
 
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ViperVX

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But the trouble is at this point, we'll never know. Even if they're found guilty now, in most peoples minds it won't mean anything because of the history;

-The fact that they were found to not be guilty as a team (rather than one mans actions) in the past
-Ferrari's constant mudslinging and press allegations, the press making up e-mails etc.

It would mean people wouldn't take a guilty verdict seriously anymore anyway because the whole legal process has been compromised by those things.

So thanks to Ferrari, whether McLaren are found guilty or not by the court, they'll be not be guilty in the minds of everyone that isn't a Ferrari fan anyway and Ferrari will just lose public sympathy regardless of the verdit.

Ferrari are willing to take the PR disaster/public revile because it means winning something they wouldn't have otherwise. But that's Ferrari's way, that's why Schumacher went so well with them.
Mclaren ARE guilty, they were proved guilty of posession, they just were not penalised because no ferrari documentation use has been found, perhaps the new evidence pointed it out.

Mclaren are as "dirty" as Ferrari. They had the opportunity for championship, they pulled it, they got cought. It always happen to those, who have the "need" to win & the motivation. That's why Michael did his stuff, Benetton did it, BAR did it 2 years ago with hidden fuel tanks & so on so far. It was pickin up for years, reached the boiling point & some1 is going to pay.

As much as i respect "pure sport" Shumacher was a brilliant driver, probably the best of all time, but he also was a "smart" competitor, very rare thing. If you dig a little bit deeper, as i did about 2 years ago, when i had to do a paper about the "criminal" side of sports, i found Huge amount of stuff about all kinds of sports championships, including Countries actualy bet millions on thier participants on Olympics & other major sports, Huge amount of bribery & so on so far.
 
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GraemeH

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Mclaren ARE guilty, they were proved guilty of posession, they just were not penalised because no ferrari documentation use has been found, perhaps the new evidence pointed it out.
I'll explain what I said a bit more;

"they were found to not be guilty as a team (rather than one mans actions)"

This sentence means the team were never said to be guilty as a team because of team actions, but were found guilty because of one guilty man in the teams actions. To be found guilty as a team they would have to have been found to have conspired together to get the dossier, which wasn't found to be the case. They were found guilty because one man in the team had the dossier at home and it wasn't used by the team. That's the team being guilty because of one mans actions, not the team being guilty as a team.

Confusing but you see what I mean I hope.
 

ViperVX

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I c. Do you really think, that lead - technician, who gets some "important" & useful information, wudn't tell any1 or use it? Why did he bother to get it in the 1st place? What world do you live in?
 

GraemeH

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I c. Do you really think, that lead - technician, who gets some "important" & useful information, wudn't tell any1 or use it? Why did he bother to get it in the 1st place? What world do you live in?
Normally I'd agree it would be obvious it was for the team. But in this case, it was at his home, and both he and Stepney tried to get jobs at Honda. So to me it looks more like they were both doing it for personal gain. Why else would Stepney give the secrets? If he was being paid for them there would be bank records or sacks of cash from McLaren, which I presume would have been found for the original investigations.

If Stepney was giving McLaren the secrets for free, why would he then go to Honda for a job. If anything he'd go to McLaren with the secrets and use it as a bargaining chip to help him get a job.

Similarly, why would Coughlan, after getting the secrets for McLaren, try to get a job at Honda?

We'll know more I guess when Stepney and Coughlans criminal investigations come around and we can hear their defences, but it doesn't add up for me, that they were doing it for McLaren as a team.
 
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