Leaked dossier outlines McLaren case against Renault ‘spying’

2007 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault, Barcelona, pre-season, 2007, 3A leaked dossier detailing McLaren’s case against Renault in F1’s new spy case has been published by PA Sport.

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

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24 comments on “Leaked dossier outlines McLaren case against Renault ‘spying’”

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  1. okay, just managed to check back on the FIA transcripts from earlier this year. this is what ron dennis had to say when trying to play down the significance of a 780 page dossier:

    “Any F1 car falls between 10,000 and 12,000 drawings. That leaves out tooling and all of the other components.”

    now the boot’s on the other foot, 780 images are suddenly “the entire technical blueprint” of two years worth of car development.

    gotta love that man.

  2. Hi, I guest there maybe soem truth in this morning. Mclaren stole Ferrari design which made them competitive this year. They lost because they were running two one man teams within a team.

    Renault may have stole McLaren designs/info and that could explain why they were crap this year. They should have stole Ferrari data. Maybe stick to their own deisgn which worked well in 2005 and 2006.

  3. The problem with that explanation, hob4bit, is no-one has proven that any aspects of the Ferrari design actually ended up on the McLaren.

    You couldn’t pick two more conceptually different cars on the entire grid – look at how McLaren dominated on tight tracks like Monte-Carlo while Ferrari stretched their legs on fast courses like Spa and Silverstone.

    Furthermore, the 2007 McLaren was completed months before Stepney started handing data to Coughlan. That’s why the FIA wanted to inspect the 2008 McLaren…

  4. Keith, agreed, that the car is made much earlier. However, there is a development cycle. The car at the end of the year, is NOT the same as it begins the year. They did speak about using at a test the gas that Ferrari used to inflate tyres and what not(most of which, we’ll never know, unless someone rats out Macca). They also discussed possibilities of testing weight distribution in simulators(this is there in the mails published, PDR & FA). That benefits this years cars, if not to a large extent, then to a certain extent. Its something that’s not really quantifiable. Ofcourse, 2008 cars are suspect and rightly so. Difficult to prove that used the information, but, engineering solutions are often ideas. They did buy/accept STOLEN intellectual property. Intentions can’t be all holy then, can they?

    I agree, that it is to do with the fundamental difference in approach, that Macca are faster in slow stuff and Ferrari are faster in medium-high speed circuits. I would still put my money on Macca having advantaged.

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