FIA end McLaren investigation and publish Renault report

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes, Melbourne, 2007, 2 | DaimlerThe FIA has formally ended its investigation into McLaren’s use of Ferrari intellectual property by cancelling the meeting of the World Motor Sports Council planned for February 14th.

However the fall-out from the McLaren and Renault hearings continues. The sport’s governing body also published the full transcripts from the December 6th hearing on whether Renault had used intellectual property belonging to McLaren.

Renault were found to have used the information obtained by Phil MacKereth but were not punished. In the hearing transcript Max Mosley explains why he considers the two cases to be different:

It is only fair to state that the original hearing of McLaren resulted in no penalty. This is because the World Motor Sports Council was not told the truth. Then, there was a second hearing at which it became clear that we had not been told the truth at the first hearing and that there was more to this. This resulted in a penalty. It also resulted in a strong suspicion that there was more to come out. Without going into matters that would not be appropriately discussed here, that provoked the third and very detailed investigation that we have just handed out. By contrast, it can be said for Renault that, from the outset, as soon as there was any question, we were sent copies of everything (witness statements, documents, etc.). From McLaren we initially received blank denial. Though we were told there was an investigation, McLaren sent us no notes of investigations or notes of meetings, nothing of the kind we received from Renault. Arguably, it is a bit unfair to say that we have treated McLaren in a slightly more aggressive manner.

I haven’t had time to read the document in full but this paragraph jumped out at me, not least because of the legal action the FIA is threatening against the Sunday Times for Martin Brundle’s article calling the trial of McLaren a ‘witch hunt’.

Once again the FIA published the document as an un-indexed PDF of a photocopied document. The pages are squint, the text low-resolution and smudged, and it cannot be searched.

They have clearly produced the document in such a sub-standard form because of their embarrassment earlier this year when they published secret information about Ferrari and McLaren’s cars that were supposed to be censored in a PDF. The mainstream media’s conspiracy of silence over that error apparently continues.

Whether this new move and the publication of the Renault document convinces me that justice was done is too early to say. I will write more on this when I’ve had enough time to scrutinise the new documents.

Do you think the FIA verdict on Renault was correct?

More on the McLaren and Renault spying cases