Mosley proposes halt to McLaren spy investigation

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes, Istanbul, 2007 | DaimlerMax Mosley has proposed that the proceedings regarding McLaren’s possession of Ferrari intellectual property be brought to a close following McLaren’s public apology earlier today.

This comes following the publication of the FIA’s technical report which casts new light on how McLaren engineers were planning to use the material obtained from Ferrari’s Nigel Stepney by Mike Coughlan.

Much of the technical report is censored and although it is possible to make educated guesses about some of the sections that have been censored (thanks to the FIA’s earlier publication of the September hearings transcripts in which the censored portions were readable) large amounts of it are virtually unreadable.

It notes that McLaren engineers had discussions about the Ferrari wheelbase and referred to the information that had come from Stepney. But the report states that although McLaren have increased the wheelbase of their car for 2008 as basic information about the Ferrari’s wheelbase was in the public domain it was not necessarily a result of the information they had obtained.

Regarding the use of a special tyre gas the report says:

We believe the general investigation by McLaren of the use of [censored*] establishes further dissemination of confidential Ferrari information to engineers within McLaren which has influenced their work on the 2007 and 2008 cars.

*the censored portion most likely refers to CO2.

It refers to several individuals as “Senior McLaren Engineers” without identifying them and states they were aware confidential Ferrari information had been obtained from a “mole”.

The report also refers to several unidentified systems that it claims McLaren is developing for its 2008 car following their discovery in the Ferrari documents. Presumably these are the quickshift, fast fill, and CO2 tyre inflation developments that McLaren has since proposed it will cease work on.

It suggests the team will be considerably inconvenienced in the developments of the MP4/23 ahead of the 2008 season. Perhaps that is why earlier this week Lewis Hamilton had this to say:

The only concern I have is that the concentration and determination of the team is not affected – and I know it won’t be. I just hope the team keep in mind that we still are the best.

In McLaren’s statement issued earlier today the team said, “It has become clear that Ferrari information was more widely disseminated within McLaren than was previously communicated.”

That might more accurately have read: “It has become impossible to deny that Ferrari information was more widely disseminated within McLaren than was previously communicated.”

Photo: DaimlerMore on the McLaren-Ferrari spy investigation