One of the members of the FIA World Motor Sports Council, who will pass judgement in the McLaren/Ferrari espionage case in eight days time, made some interesting remarks to the AS newspaper of his native Spain.
Here’s a translated portion:
It is very hard to prove that McLaren used the information. Normally, and I hope this is what happens, there would not even be a reprimand for Ron Dennis since it is almost impossible to prove anything.
It seems quite strange that a WMSC member should give such a public statement about what he thinks the outcome of the inquiry should be. But this isn’t the first time that Verdegay has made such a curiously revealing remark.
When Michael Schumacher controversially parked his Ferrari during qualifying at the Monaco Grand Prix, Verdegay was one of the stewards that condemned the Ferrari driver, and he said this:
We don’t know if the entire manoeuvre was deliberate, but in that spot he had certainly not done anything like it throughout the weekend: he braked over 50% more heavily than on the other laps.
Then he performed some absolutely unnecessary and pathetic counter-steering, and that lasted five metres, until there was no more chances of going through the turn normally.
He lost control of the car while travelling at 16km/h! That’s something completely unjustifiable. And the engine shut off because he wanted it to, by losing enough time before hitting the clutch. And the excuse that he did not engage reverse because there was traffic doesn’t make sense.
I’m not saying that Verdegay’s judgement was wrong then, nor that it is now.
But he is a Spanish member of the World Motor Sports Council and he must realise that making such strong statements, both of which strongly support the side of Spain’s leading racing driver Fernando Alonso, is bound to cause raised eyebrows?
Update: Joaquin Verdegay has insisted to Autosport that he did not make the above remarks (see here), leading Autosport to pull their story that quoted the AS source. Pitpass is citing the original quotes here.
All of which is deeply ironic given my previous post.
- Stepneygate, sensationalism and censorship
- Debate: Stepney scandal good for F1?
- McLaren linked to Ferrari espionage scandal
- F1 2006 review: In their own words