Remember the case of the former Ferrari Formula 1 tech who shared his company's secrets with rival McLaren-Mercedes? The FIA has announced that it has concluded its investigation into that matter and Team McLaren-Mercedes will not be penalized. Formula 1's governing body held an "extraordinary meeting" of the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Paris today and found that although McLaren did in fact have possession of confidential Ferrari material, there was 'insufficient evidence that it had been used in such a way as to interfere improperly with the FIA Formula 1 World Championship'. So no penalty was given to McLaren-Mercedes.
But the announcement came with a warning. If that information is used "to the detriment of the sport" in the future, the FIA might not be so lenient next time. The suggestion was made that if this were to occur, Ron Dennis and his team would face the 'possibility of exclusion' from the 2007 championship, which they are currently leading. They would also be eliminated from competing in 2008. Disqualification should be a pretty big deterrent, we imagine. Not getting off as easy are the two men at the heart of the issue.
McLaren's chief designer, Mike Coughlan, and Ferrari's former head of performance development, Nigel Stepney, have been 'invited' by the FIA to 'show reasons why they should not be banned from international motor sport for a lengthy period'. Ouch. Should be interesting to hear their responses. We'll keep you posted.