McLaren will not appeal spying punishment

Fernando Alonso, McLaren-Mercedes, Silverstone, 2007 | Daimler ChryslerMcLaren confirmed today that it will not appeal against its expulsion from the 2007 constructors’ championship and $100m fine it was slapped with in the espionage hearing last week.

The team’s statement read: “McLaren thinks it is in the best interests of the sport, and its goal of winning races and world championships, not to appeal.”

Although an apparent end to the FIA’s hearings is welcome, a lot of damage has been done to the sport already, and it remains to be seen what the outcome of Ferrari’s prosecutions against Mike Coughlan and Nigel Stepney will results in.

Many people have maintained that what McLaren were prosecuted for was no worse than what other teams have gotten up to over the years. If that is true, then the FIA has a tough new precedent to enforce.

And it might be called to task over it very quickly, with McLaren apparently considering an action against Renault. It will be interesting to see if Ron Dennis persists with this matter, or whether that too is dropped ‘in the best interests of the sport’.

Ferrari’s two cases against Coughlan and Stepney are another matter entirely. Putting to one side the question of what happens if the courts decide nothing untoward went on (what would that mean for the FIA?), it will be fascinating to discover what evidence Ferrari presents against Stepney for his alleged sabotage.

McLaren’s decision may be the beginning of the end of the spy story – but it will surely be many years before we hear the end of it. There are still many questions unanswered.

Even with the FIA’s publication of the transcripts from both hearings (complete with confidential Ferrari and McLaren information that was never supposed to be there in the first place) the whole story of the espionage case appears like an iceberg, with the small amount of knowledge above the surface surely nothing like as vast as the stories now concealed in the murky depths of the past.

The inevitable movement of people within and out of the sport will surely bring occasional new facts to light. But it will be a long time before we fully understand everything that happened.

It does, however, confirm Ferrari as 2007 constructors’ champions.

Photo: Daimler Chrysler

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5 comments on McLaren will not appeal spying punishment

  1. They know they got off lightly! Disgraceful, Mclaren should be ashamed.

  2. Number 38 said on 22nd September 2007, 14:28

    I think this whole issue is blown out of proportion. When Ron Dennis found Coughlan had ill-gained Ferrari data he should have turned the thug and the data over to MadMax IMMEDIATELY and the issue would have evaporated. It’s my opinion Ron Dennis brought this on McLaren by his own in-action which then allowed Ferrari to get wind and and the media and US, we more than any party probably spread the word faster than the printed or electronic media. The sad part is I don’t think McLaren ever really got to USE any of the data, they were still analysing it when the situation exploded.
    Let’s face it EVERY team uses whatever they can glean from their competition, it’s just the scale of 780 pages that’s over-whelming in this case.
    McLaren didn’t get off lightly, they got hit REALLY hard but I will agree their conduct was disgraceful.

  3. Which would be fine except that Ron knew nothing until Ferrari raided Coughlan’s home. It comes down to whether you believe Ron or not. Personally, I believe him.

  4. How can you believe Ron, for a man who has reportedly high morals, he has been exposed as having no morals. How can he not know what is going on within his own team.
    No doubt the english press will back Mclaren. KB is correct Ron Dennis is a disgrace! He got caught lying!!!!!!!

  5. Number 38 said on 23rd September 2007, 4:50

    You’re a good friend Clive but……Ron Dennis isn’t!
    They say the devil is in the details…..here’s an example:
    When asked why Alonso didn’t attend the WMSC hearing Ron replied, “He didn’t want to, He didn’t have to.” when in fact Alonso was sent to Spa that day to do promotional duties for a sponsor !!!! Since Alonso was actually WORKING for the TEAM that day the response seems a bit DISHONEST. I’m probably nit-picking but these details often tell more than the headline. Montoya’s recent remarks clearly indicate that Ron Dennis had no intention of “equal” status within the ranks. Even from our distant vantage point we have to know Hamilton was an INVESTMENT, a long term investment and it puzzles me why Ron Dennis would have put up the McLaren investment AGAINST the world champion? Some common sense please. Three more races, at this point I no longer care, F1 races are boring, banning traction control may shuffle the deck a little, let’s hope so. “let’s get this distraction behind us”.

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