Should Mclaren be Applauded?

By: Anthony Fontanelle

The ongoing spying saga in Formula One is far from being over. Ferrari is not satisfied that McLaren is not punished. McLaren, on the other hand, has to continue the season with thoughts of expulsion running through team members' minds. The World Motor Sport Council called by the FIA found McLaren guilty of possessing technical data owned by Ferrari. But the ruling body of the sport did not impose any punishments to McLaren.

This has angered Ferrari. Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo recently said in an interview that the team will be continuing their fight against McLaren out of the tracks. "I want to say to the fans from all over the world who have been contacting Ferrari, offended by the decision taken in Paris yesterday, that they should remain calm because this story will not end here," he said.

Scuderia Ferrari's chief executive Jean Todt is also furious at the ruling. He accused McLaren's team principal Ron Dennis of signing an agreement of trust between the two teams while at the same time is aware that a spy is working inside Ferrari.

"I replied that I found it impossible to believe him because we had seen that certain commitments had always been disregarded by McLaren," said Todt. "There was an exchange of views and, believing in their good faith, I agreed to sign this agreement on June 9. So, on the one hand, they had come to say 'let us trust one another' and, on the other, they were hiding serious facts but making no effort to inform us as would have been in the spirit and to the letter of our agreement."

Todt pointed out that since McLaren was found guilty, they should be punished. "There is not even a sign of logic in this verdict. Either they are guilty or they aren't. McLaren were found responsible of having violated the regulations of F1, of having behaved in a fraudulent manner, but they haven't been punished," he shared.

McLaren though was not found guilty of having used the Ferrari data on their cars which would have given them immense advantage over the Italian team. The fact that Ferrari documents were found in possession of McLaren and that it has not been used on their cars means that McLaren has done the right thing. After all, it was not McLaren who got the technical data from Ferrari.

The British team's suspended chief designer Mike Coughlan is the one that the dossier was passed on to by former Ferrari senior engineer Nigel Stepney. Does this mean that Ferrari is in favor of punishing McLaren even if they have not used the data to their advantage?

Furthermore, it is reported that Mike Coughlan does not intend to use the information on McLaren cars. In fact, both Coughlan and Stepney have met with Honda Racing's team Principal Nick Fry. This certainly points out that Coughlan is interested in keeping the Ferrari documents for his personal use, possibly for employment in another team.

If the FIA punished McLaren that would either come in form of a monetary fine docking points from the team and drivers. With those sanctions, Ferrari would have been leading the constructors' and drivers' championship standings. Currently, McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso are leading the race to the championship.

No doubt, this scandal has hurt the reputation of McLaren and its sponsors Vodafone and Mercedes-Benz. The German automaker which manufactures automobiles and auto parts such as the is clearly supporting McLaren in its tough battle to clear its name.

Extreme Sports
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Extreme Sports