McLaren Mercedes escape penalty
Insufficient evidence for the WMSC
F1's governing body on Thursday announced that McLaren will not be penalised following a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Paris.
A statement, however, revealed that the 26 Council members did find Ron Dennis' outfit guilty of breaching the International Sporting Code for possessing confidential Ferrari information.
'However, there is insufficient evidence that this information was used in such a way as to interfere improperly with the FIA Formula One World Championship,' it read.
But the FIA also said McLaren face exclusion from the 2007 and 2008 championships if it is 'found in the future that the Ferrari information has been used' improperly.
The statement also said alleged spies Nigel Stepney and Mike Coughlan will now be pursued by the FIA's legal department and could be banned from international motor sport for a lengthy period.
A relieved McLaren Chairman Ron Dennis told AFP on leaving the hearing: "The punishment fits the crime."
World Motor Sport Council – Statement
An extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council was held in Paris on 26 July, 2007.
The following decision was taken:
“The WMSC is satisfied that Vodafone McLaren Mercedes was in possession of confidential Ferrari information and is therefore in breach of article 151c of the International Sporting Code. However, there is insufficient evidence that this information was used in such a way as to interfere improperly with the FIA Formula One World Championship. We therefore impose no penalty.
“But if it is found in the future that the Ferrari information has been used to the detriment of the championship, we reserve the right to invite Vodafone McLaren Mercedes back in front of the WMSC where it will face the possibility of exclusion from not only the 2007 championship but also the 2008 championship.
“The WMSC will also invite Mr Stepney and Mr Coughlan to show reason why they should not be banned from international motor sport for a lengthy period and the WMSC has delegated authority to deal with this matter to the legal department of the FIA.”
Source GMM / FIA