• Sep 12, 2007

Thursday, September 13th, the World Motor Sport Council will meet to decide on whether McLaren should be punished for industrial espionage in the Stepneygate affair. What had been winding its way to a peaceful conclusion has now been blown back open with the recent revelation that the drivers exchanged information that came from the Ferrari dossier in McLaren's possession.

Some newspapers claim that in the 166 pages of new evidence is enough damaging material that McLaren and its drivers could be excluded from the 2007 F1 World Championship. McLaren boss Ron Dennis has claimed that no one else in the team knew about the dossier -- and this was before it was revealed that the drivers knew. Now it's claimed that not only did the drivers know, but McLaren actually tried some of Ferrari's technical innovations on its car. Ron Dennis is also accused of trying to bring Renault into the affair, but it is unclear how. If things go against McLaren, the Championship-leading team and its drivers could face exclusion from the Championship this year and beyond.

[Source: Daily F1]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 22 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      I am just astounded by some of the comments here.

      If the FIA has evidence, as the rumors suggest, that McLaren actually actively used the Ferrari information in their cars, then it's a slam dunk. McLaren would have violated some of the most sacred FIA rules regulating team behavior outside the track. The sanctions SHOULD be severe.

      It's unfortunate for the sport that the #1 team is involved, but what the hell is FIA supposed to do? If the evidence does in fact match what is suggested here, the sport would already have been tainted by McLaren, not the FIA.

      It's as if you found the winner of Tour de France high on steroids, but still let him have the trophy just so that you wouldn't create an embarrassment. Hello!?

      If the evidence matches the rumors, FIA MUST throw the book at McLaren. Otherwise the sport would truly be ruined.
      • 7 Years Ago
      There have been a lot of stupid comments posted here, about F1, Alonso, Hamilton, NASCAR, et al. Look, if you don't like NASCAR, who cares? This blog is about F1, so stick to topic. Damn...
      Alonso isn't sharing data with Hamilton... he hasn't since Hungary! Hamilton won that race, if I recall... and when Hamilton's tire split in Turkey, he was well ahead of Alonso. It wasn't a problem with the setup, but with the tire itself, from the info I've read. And Hamilton was not that far from Alonso at Monza. Both were probably conserving their engines for Spa, but really, if you think Hamilton makes all the decisions on his setup, you're dreaming. Even Alonso benefits from the info Hamilton and Pedro de la Rosa glean from testing, and as we have seen throughout the year, the car is magnificent, especially over curbs. And if Hamilton was using Alonso's settings to such effect, why the hell was Alonso having so much trouble at tracks like Canada and Indy? Especially Canada. What, did Alonso use Hamilton's settings? Or did he mistakenly take Giancarlo Fisichella's from his old days at Renault? Give me a break -- if Hamilton uses Alonso's settings better than Alonso, it stands to reason the kid is better in an equal car.
      As far as the spying saga goes, it is clear Max Mosley has an agenda against McLaren. People claiming the team will be banned for the rest of this season and next are delusional. I can't see Mercedes letting that happen, and other sponsors have too much money tied up into McLaren for them to let that happen as well. Mosley might hate Ron Dennis, but he can't be on such a power trip to think he could do this and get away with it.
      Besides, if McLaren is banned, they will run their cars under the Prodrive banner. Notice that the Prodrive team has yet to name its drivers.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If McLaren is innocent of any wrong doing why didn't McLaren go to the FIA 'immediatley' when they received the over 700 pages of Ferrari technical documentation?
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is all a setup by Ferrari. Ferrari's tactics when they have been losing in the past has been really questionable.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I say bring back the good old days where F1 drivers had stubble, plumes of cigarette-smoke around them courtesy of their sponsors and oil on their overhauls.

      Me, as a once dyed-in-the-wool F1 fan, have come to realize that F1 died along with Senna in '94. It isn't racing anymore, it's glorified chess. Who wants to see that?

      This whole McLaren hoo-hah turned out to be the most interesting thing of the current season, and that in itself says a lot about just how bad F1 has become.
        • 7 Years Ago
        How is watching cars drive around a track using your brain?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Well. That certainly sounds bad. If those new allegations are true, they probably deserve banning.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The big picture is this. If F1 throws this season down the toilet by barring McLaren from further participation, there will no more reason for anyone to go to or watch this year's remaining races. Ferrari will run 1-2 for the remainder of the season winning each race by 40 seconds or more and there will be as little to reason to watch that as there was to watch INDY the year only six cars ran.

      This is one of the most competitive seasons in years in F1 and if it ends now in a court of law instead of on the track, watch and see how the sponsors and manufacturers whose money makes this whole thing go react. What will Mercedes do for example? Stay or go? Will the corporate bigwigs decide that the political mess that F1 has become is still worth investing in or move their money elsewhere as they are moving out of bicycle racing after the Tour de France disaster? Why, if the championship is handed to Ferrari for whatever reason no matter how justified, should the also- runs at Honda, Toyota, BMW and Renault continue to pour their money into what in effect becomes Fiat's advertising budget. What's in it for them? And why shouldn't they expect the same thing to happen to them later on when they threaten Ferrari's dominance?

      Even assuming McLaren's guilt, these questions remain. And everyone can howl all they want about cheating and fairness and McLaren deserves whatever they get. At the end of the day big, big, money funds this sport and big money will decide whether or not it wants to fund a one make series for Ferrari or move on to something else.

      My prediction; if McLaren is banished, the constructor's group will go ahead and start their own series and leave F1 to Ferrari, Redbull and Toro Rosso.
      • 7 Years Ago
      @ James Valley:

      You're right, Senna's death was just the nail in the coffin I guess. Point is it's been going south since then, as the drivers need to do even less than what they needed to do in '94. I saw this great in-car scene of Senna from '92 where you could see him working the car with manual gear-changes and keeping the car on track, all the while going blisteringly fast. That's racing.

      Just out of curiosity, when something is refreshing, am I to assume you haven't been using it for a while then...? :D

      Jokes aside, if you honestly think F1 is what it's supposed to be in this day and age, good for you. I just seem to remember years gone by when it was far better than what it is today.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The real question is who in the world really cars about any of this? The great unwashed in Europe? I'd rather see Billy Bob turn left on Saturday night than the Eurotrash processions that F1 calls "racing".
        • 7 Years Ago
        It's the number two sport on the planet, just slightly behind soccer.

        The real question is how you garnered your arrogant attitude without any substance to back it up.

        Oh, that's right, you're American.
        Never mind...
        • 7 Years Ago
        I suppose but I am tired of people on here and in general thinking their opinion is the only one that's right and thats makes them better. The whole "I like F1 so I am better than anyone who watches the NASCAR!" thinking is getting old on this site. Its kind of like the "I like Subaru or Mitsubishi because they make cars for enthusiasts" (stupidiest word on the website) completely ignoring the fact that Subaru and Mitsubishi don't sell for crap in the U.S.

        I guess I just wanted to vent and this post offered me the chance with that idiots reply to the post.
        • 7 Years Ago
        So you'd rather watch redneck white trash Billy Bob turn left in a 50s-vintage car driving in the WWF that is stock car racing than the precision racing in the world's most advanced race cars.. whatever floats your boat.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I love it when the F1 girls get their panties in bunch when someone takes a shot at it! Its even better when the same people who refer to NASCAR fans as"rednecks, inbreds, and white trash" get mad when someone calls their fans "eurotrash" and refer to them as "ignorant"! What a damn joke, grown up and take it just as many of you dish it out because it is true NASCAR drives in circles and F1 is nothing more than a 180mph parade lap.

        Oh thats right, there's "strategy" in F1 because its sooo critical when the leader is 15 seconds ahead of second place. I am sure glad those million dollar go-carts have all those computers to figure out what to do on the next pit stop!

        "The real question is how you garnered your arrogant attitude without any substance to back it up.

        Oh, that's right, you're American.
        Never mind..."

        Thats the stupidest comment since I saw "Oh, thats' right, you're European so you must be queer."

        Its f'n car racing!
          • 7 Years Ago
          Pretty harsh Brusier but partly true. You don't understand that people are naturally stupid and see it when they call NASCAR fans "hicks" is ok and when F1 is under attack they're "ignorant". God knows there are NO ignorant F1 fans but I am not God by any means and I know there are, I sat with a bunch at the U.S. Grand Prix this year from Spain! They were absolutely obnoxious with the body odor of a dead cow and the blood alcohol content of Lindsay Lohan at 2:30am.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Maybe Im a little naive, but since when in history was public punishment of spying ever a good idea? Its the oldest profession known (well second) and in racing has been an integral back story since the beginning.

      Is this about a fair and level playing field? If it is, why havent there been more effective ways of making other teams cars competitive without holding back the front runners? In NASCAR as some of the more colorful posters were intoning idea theft has been part of the melodrama that made the whole thing popular.

      We watch spying on TV regularly, and it usually makes ratings go up. If they want to keep the sport fair they should just stick with the tried and true method of penalizing... make them pay huge fines and be done with it. No one was hurt, or injured nor was anyone's life put into jeopardy. Been caught stealing? Pay up, shut up and sit down. But let the show play on.
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