In a statement today Dennis said: “Once I became aware that new evidence might exist, which I did on the morning of the Hungarian Grand Prix, I immediately phoned the FIA to keep them informed.”
It seems likely that this was the crucial evidence concerning his drivers’ emails and may have involved a dispute with Fernando Alonso.
A series of emails between Alonso, Pedro de la Rosa and Mike Coughlan were used in establishing McLaren’s guilt in yesterday’s hearing.
It now seems that Dennis alerted the FIA to the existence of these e-mails on August 5th (the day of the Hungarian Grand Prix). Whether or not they knew of them already is unclear.
What is known is that Alonso and the team were involved in a bitter dispute that weekend over qualifying, in which Lewis Hamilton refused to obey an instruction to let Alonso pass him, and Alonso reacted by blocking Hamilton and preventing him from completing his pole position lap.
Could Alonso have threatened to reveal his evidence to the FIA, and did Dennis go to them with it first in an attempt to pre-empt Alonso in the hope of mitigating a punishment for the team?
It sounds like a conspiracy theory, but in the light of today’s extraordinary revelations it would not sound so surprising.
Photo: Daimler Chrysler
More on the espionage scandal
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- Mixed reaction in press to McLaren’s punishment
- McLaren out of ’07 championship and fined $100m
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- Debate: Has F1 been brought into disrepute?
- Furious Dennis accuses Ferrari of cheating
- Ferrari’s friend wins right to McLaren appeal
- Todt: ‘FIA would have punished Ferrari’
- McLaren spy verdict: Why the FIA were right
- McLaren not punished in spy case (updated)
- Joaquin Verdegay’s unwise words (updated)
- Stepneygate, sensationalism and censorship
- Debate: Stepney scandal good for F1?
- Extraordinary details in Ferrari-McLaren spy case
- McLaren linked to Ferrari espionage scandal
- Ferrari technician in criminal investigation
- Grandprix.com – The ultimate irony (external)
- Autosport.com – Dennis tipped off FIA about evidence (external)
More on the McLaren Hungaroring affair
- British tabloids blame Alonso
- Any sympathy for McLaren?
- Another PR disaster for McLaren
- The stewards’ full verdict on McLaren and Alonso
- Alonso & McLaren punished by stewards (updated)
- Dennis says Alonso not to blame
- Alonso’s qualifying stunt: 21 opinions
- Video: Alonso’s dirty trick on Hamilton (updated)
- Hungarian GP 2007 qualifying: Alonso’s tainted triumph