Italian press condemn WMSC decision
''Political sentence, suspect formula''
The Italian press were united on Friday in their condemnation of the decision by Formula One's governing body to clear McLaren of any wrongdoing in the Ferrari spying row.
An extraordinary hearing of the FIA's World Motor Sports Council ruled there was no evidence that the British team had benefited from the confidential Ferrari documents found in the possession of their chief designer.
"Ferrari mocked," headlined the Gazzetta dello Sport. "Incredible decision by the FIA. McLaren found guilty but go punished."
"A shock verdict. The FIA recognise the fact that McLaren violated the sporting conduct code by having in their possession confidential Ferrari documents, but they are absolved. So spying is not shameful."
"A scandalous verdict and freedom to spy," said the Gazzetta's front page editorial.
"Imagine you have had your car stolen and then it is found in the garden of a man who lives near you. You inform the police and they verify the theft. But because the thief shows that he hasn't used the car, he's cleared of any crime. That is exactly what happened to Ferrari.
"It's a scandal, the latest in the world of sport which every now and again gives us another reason to doubt it, and that continues to use different measures to address similar situations, enough to create an ethical emergency that destroys and neglects."
La Repubblica newspaper said McLaren escaped a points deduction as the FIA were unwilling to interfere with the sport which is enjoying a rise in popularity following the arrival on the scene of McLaren's exciting British driver Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton heads the drivers' standings on 70 points, two clear of McLaren team-mate and world champion Fernando Alonso, with Ferrari duo Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen in third and fourth with 59 and 52 respectively.
McLaren also top the constructor standings, with 138 points, 27 clear of Ferrari.
"Political sentence, suspect formula," wrote La Repubblica. "McLaren absolved. How can it be?. That team had 780 pages of Ferrari documents showing completed projects and they are cleared.
"At first sight the decision is incomprehensible, but the FIA's magnanimity can be easily explained.