2007 F1 season
It alleges Renault had access to the entire technical blueprint for the 2006 and 2007 McLaren F1 cars.
Among the claims are suggestions that Renault had 780 (isn’t that a familiar number?) technical drawings of the McLarens.
The document states that:
[There were] 18 witness statements in which Renault F1 employees admit that they viewed confidential technical information belonging to McLaren on a total of 11 computers owned by Renault F1.
Papers in the document say that in March 2006, 33 files of confidential technical information belonging to McLaren were copied on to 11 floppy disks, which were loaded on to Renault F1’s computer system in September 2006.
The dossier says the 33 files contain more than 780 individual drawings outlining the entire technical blueprint of the 2006 and 2007 McLaren F1 cars.
The files were uploaded on to 11 Renault F1 computers, and were discussed by up to 18 Renault F1 personnel, including a group of senior engineering chiefs and heads of department within Renault F1, according to documents in the dossier.
McLaren released a statement that said:
It is clear that McLaren’s confidential design information was knowingly, deliberately and widely disseminated and discussed within the Renault F1 design and engineering team, thereby providing them with a clear benefit and unfair advantage.
McLaren also criticised Renault’s response to the investigation. It claims Renault staff had a “cavalier attitude” during the investigation and that some of its their responses were “incomplete”, “misleading” or “incorrect”. Phil Mackereth’s (the technician originally charged with obtaining the McLaren data) claim he kept some McLaren information for “sentimental reasons” is described as “absurd”.
Renault face a hearing of the World Motor Sports Council on December 6th to determine whether it breached Article 151c of the FIA International Sporting Code: “fraudulent conduct or any act prejudicial to the interests of any competition or to the interests of motor sport generally.”
This is the rule under which McLaren were thrown out of the 2007 Constructors’ Championship and had to pay a $100m fine.
Were a second team to face a similar punishment within such a short space of time it would be a major blow to the reputation of Formula 1.
Photo: LAT Photographic