F1 espionage, Act II: Renault accused of spying on McLaren

Formula One teams have long tried to glean insight into what their competition is doing, but this year's spying scandals have exploded into all-out espionage. After the whole Stepneygate/Ferrari vs. McLaren thing, we thought that was the last we'd hear of spying until at least next year. But now we have some new accusations of espionage to consider. And in an odd twist of fate, the alleged culprit in the first spying scandal is claimed to be the victim in this most recent one.

According to the AP, the FIA has asked Renault to appear before the World Motor Sport Council on Dec. 6 to face accusations that it had "unauthorized possession of documents and confidential information" of McLaren's (!) cars between September 2006 and October 2007. As tired as we are of this whole spying thing, the result could be that next season is contested with McLaren and Renault unable to earn points. The FIA is still waiting to look at the 2008 McLaren car to see if it can spot any evidence that the team may have learned something useful from the Ferrari technical data it allegedly stole. We don't want to jump to conclusions, but if McLaren and Renault are both found guilty of spying, it could mean Ferrari has a lot less competition next year. We'll keep you posted.

Thanks for the tip, Devin!

[Source: AP via ESPN, photo by Clive Mason/Getty]

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