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During the Stepneygate scandal over the course of the 2007 Formula 1 season, more than one critic accused the FIA of being on a witch hunt against McLaren. Based on what McLaren said it knew, and what the FIA said it knew, it looked to many like the governing body was simply doing everything possible to put Ferrari in the Championship lead. When the $100,000,000 penalty was given to McLaren, some folks were aghast.
But this one goes firmly to the FIA. McLaren has unreservedly apologized in a letter to the FIA, the World Motorsports Council, and F1 fans for not being forthcoming, for possibly allowing Ferrari secrets to get into its car, and for allowing the FIA's investigation of the team to reveal more information than its own investigation. It also agreed to pay the FIA's expenses for conducting the investigation.

In addition to all of that, McLaren has agreed to "'impose a moratorium' on development of three separate systems that may have been infected by the Ferrari secrets." Those three potentially "infected" systems were on Hamilton and Alonso's 2007 racers, which makes it quite convenient that Hamilton didn't win the Championship. Because of McLaren's acknowledgment of guilt and acceptance of terms, Max Mosley, head of the FIA, has asked that the investigation be closed, and that a February 14th meeting to determine the validity of McLaren's 2008 car be canceled.

[Source: F1 Live]



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  • 13 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Predictable. It'll be good for the sport in general though if we get all the accusations and legal nonsense out of the way before 2K8 though, however they chose to go about it: once all parties involved agree with the outcome in the end. It's now shaping up to be great season, with Alonso back at Renault along with Piquet, and Kovaleinen joining Hamilton back at McLaren. And lets not forget world champ Kimi and Massa over at Ferrari, or the hard charging duo of Heidfeld and Kubica over at BMW. No TC in 2K8... I can hardly wait.
        • 7 Years Ago
        @MUSASHI66
        I never said it was fair... I am a die hard McLaren fan, after all. But I'm an even bigger F1 fan. And if all this carries over into 2k8, it'll make a huge mess of things. I'd just rather watch some racing to be honest, and leave the politics for the politicians of the sport. I've been watching F1 since 1988, and I haven't missed a race in the last 8 years. No engine development to come for a while? No big deal. There'll be fierce development and competition in other areas of engineering, and it will allow the drivers to showcase their talent more. How many people could tell the difference in engine output and configuration from year to year anyway? We only know what we we're told.
        The FIA is and has always been biased and inconsistent with their rulings. No matter how much I've hated it in the past, they still do what they want. I've just learned to live with it. It's one of those things that won't change for now. But I'll still watch F1.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I can wait...

        No engine development for 10 years.

        No fine for Renault, but 100 mil for McLaren for the same crime?

        No points for McLaren for the season, but Renault gets to keep their points?

        No fine for BMW for the last race of the season issue? They would have fined them any other time, but boys in red would not get the title that way.

        There is wayyyyyy too much in F1 that I hate now, and I just stopped watching it. When they have one set of rules for all teams, than I might watch it again.
        • 7 Years Ago
        But it's not just engine development. I am sure you read the article about everything they are going to limit or ban. It's always that same excuse of protecting smaller teams with less money, but money is not everything, with Toyota being the obvious example.

        I am excited to see what is going to happen with no TC, although I probably won't watch any races again, I'll just read about them.

        Things were so much better when Senna battled Prost...
      • 7 Years Ago
      I just see this as Mclaren being the bigger man. What more did it have to lose than the already fined 100mil.

      F1 is a mess lately, on all counts. And ferrari just as much part of espionage as every other company.
      • 7 Years Ago
      McLaren's rogue engineer holds Ferrari data in his house. But leaks snippets when asked questions. $100mm Fine and threat of dismissal in 2008.

      Renault holds McLaren data on it's proprietary computer systems for about a year. No Fine and No threat re 2008.

      What's the difference? McLaren was fighting back, whereas Renault offered a mea culpa, when finally exposed and was allowed to walk. What's the difference? Max dislikes Ron as the latter is merely a mechanic who rose through the ranks to success......
      • 7 Years Ago
      @MUSASHI66

      It wasn't the same "crime", please don't go around saying stupidness like that. Renault got the same slap on the wrist McLaren first got when the FIA said there wasn't enough evidence to prove they used the data. McLaren got hit hard when evidence came out that they had been using the information, which up until that point McLaren said they never used.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yeah, I am sure they were just sitting on the advanced technical information about competition without using it.. that is just naive.
        • 7 Years Ago
        MUSASHI66, I didn't say they didn't use the info but the FIA were consistent with both calls, so why claim or pretend otherwise?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm afraid you've read this one all wrong. Nothing has changed, this is just politics as usual as directed by Max "Fascist" Mosely. This was a behind-the-scenes arrangement between Mosely and Ron Dennis because Mosley was going to ban McLaren from competing in 2008 for "stealing" Ferrari information. Not only did McLaren have to admit to cheating, they have to apologize as well. What's telling is that it wasn't Ron who issued the apology. As per usual, the FIA is dancing to the red teams tune, and McLaren is paying the bill. it's quite surprising to see that the press and pundits are all falling for this one.

      If there was no "stealing" of ideas, only one team would have a zero, single, or double keel, barge-boards, scalloped front wings, chimneys, top-exiting exhausts, etc.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Rules in F1 these days make me angry to the point I just don't watch it any more. I feel they should all just leave FIA and F1, make a new association, and let the red boys enjoy winning every race. I know it's not going to happen, but it would solve this game of favoring Ferrari.

        Give me one reason why BMW was not fined at the last race?It's in the rules, and rules say nothing about not issuing the fine if that is the last race of the season, or if something like that decides the winner. You know who would NOT get the title that way right? I wonder if they would have fined BMW if Ferrari needed those points...
        • 7 Years Ago
        well, the bad guys (Mosley & co) still win, no matter what.
        Damn I hate them so much. And I'm a diehard Ferrari fan.
        FIA should be erased and F1 restored to it's old glory and practical function.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I wish the Patriots would have gotten fined $100 million. Despite losing their 1st round pick, they may still end up picking 2nd because they traded for the 49ers pick last year. 2nd!
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