Renault guilty but unpunished in spying case

Heikki Kovalainen, Renault, Spa-Francorchamps, 2007 | Andrew Ferraro / LAT PhotographicThe Renault team have been found guilty of bringing Formula 1 into disrepute but the FIA is not going to punish them. The reasoning for the decision will be published tomorrow (Friday 7th December).

Renault’s Flavio Briatore issued a statement saying: “I would like to thank Renault, our title sponsor ING and all our partners for their wholehearted support during this sensitive period.

“I also wish to pay tribute to the team, which has handled the matter with integrity and dignity. We are pleased that we can now focus fully on our preparations for the 2008 championship.”

In July McLaren was found to have been in possession of Ferrari information but went unpunished. In September they received a $100m fine and exclusion from the 2007 constructors’ championship after further evidence came to light proving how widely the information had been disseminated throughout the team. However proof of use was never established.

When McLaren was exonerated in July, FIA president Max Mosley said:

It is the unanimous view of the World Council that Vodafone McLaren Mercedes were in possession of Ferrari secrets or Ferrari information, by virtue of Mr Coughlan?s possession thereof, irrespective of certain other elements. We therefore find Vodafone McLaren Mercedes in breach of Article 151c. However, the evidence of any use of this material in a manner calculated to interfere with the Formula 1 World Championship is insufficient for us to impose any penalty. Should, in the future, evidence emerge showing that the Formula 1 World Championship was prejudiced in any way by the possession of this information by Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, either in 2007 or 2008 or any years subsequent to that, we reserve the right to invite the team back in front of the World Council, where they would be faced with the possibility of exclusion, not only from the 2007 World Championship, but also from the 2008 World Championship.

It remains to be seen exactly why the FIA has chosen not to punish Renault having found them guilty of “fraudulent conduct or acts prejudicial to the interests of any competition or to the interests of motor sport generally.” And whether it will threaten Renault with similar action to the above should further evidence come to light.

The FIA are also expected to announce their verdict on their investigation of the 2008 McLaren tomorrow having inspected it to judge if it contains any traces of Ferrari’s intellectual property.

Andrew Ferraro / LAT Photographic

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21 comments on Renault guilty but unpunished in spying case

  1. Michael K said on 7th December 2007, 9:26

    You guys are funny, “It’s also time for Mclaren to take the case to an open civil court.” Oh, and what do you think would happen with McLaren if their case would get taken to that same civil court? Genius….
    This is just before going into whether or more importantly why such a case should end up in civil court.
    Let’s wait what the FIA has to say although this whole thing smells a bit fishy, if they really had proven possession of the materials then they should be punished in the same way that McLaren were punished initially. Hold on a minute, they weren’t punished at that time, were they??
    I think all you Pro-McLaren guys should just really bite your tongue for a while so that you don’t risk looking utterly ridiculous and uninformed…
    I also think the FIA is a joke btw and McLaren got of lightly the first time round, but if Renault are being found guilty for the same infringement that McLaren was found guilty for and went unpunished they can hardly punish Renault for it now, can they?

  2. You anti McLaren guys are ridiclous, why can not FIA punish Renault now??? Just because FIA didn’t punish McLaren the first time? Because the decision you guys were thinking FIA was a joke, didn’t you? Now according to your logic, FIA can’t punish Renault, because once a joke always a joke, FIA must diplay their consistency by remaining a joke to you?

  3. Michael K said on 7th December 2007, 13:02

    Ade, don’t know where you’re from, but it is usually a matter of pride for democratic countries that their courts are relatively coherent in their rulings. In fact it would be impossible for the FIA to rule differently if the case is the same with Renault as it was with McLaren.
    And to be clear, I’m not anti-McLaren, I’m anti-spying, anti-arrogance and anti-politics. For me both Renault and McLaren should be punished for the possession of the material alone, and not some expensive slap on the wrist as with McLaren, no both should have drivers and championship points deducted for the season in question. If Ferrari would be found guilty of the same offence then they should be punished in the same way. But now as the FIA has already ruled like this with McLaren asking them to rule differently is, as you put it Ade, a joke.

  4. ozzie said on 7th December 2007, 13:25

    You guys are really amazing…

    there is a 1st hearing where McLaren was found in breach of 151c article…
    because of posession…
    but still not penalised

  5. OK, it’s a matter of pride, the studidity should continue, after all it’s democratic countries.

    It’s a joke that McLaren asked FIA to rule differently? So in your opinion McLaren should have given up/drop the matter??? You sure can make me laugh.

    What amazes me is that it’s the same people who created uproar at the first time, now they all show up and defend Renault and FIA’s decision. Is that because they all live in democratic countries, I don’t know either.

  6. Michael K said on 7th December 2007, 15:24

    Ade, you’re not making any coherent sense, what are you trying to say?

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