Mclaren Says No One Else Aware of Ferrari Dossier

By: Anthony Fontanelle

The current Formula One season has seen many twists and turns not only on the tracks but off of it as well. After the Monaco Grand Prix, McLaren has been investigated by the FIA - Formula One's ruling body concerning 'team orders'. And then there was the horrifying crash that BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica survived at the Canadian Grand Prix. More recently, the spotlight is on the spying scandal which involved McLaren and Ferrari.

According to reports, an employee of Scuderia Ferrari is allegedly passing confidential information to a McLaren employee. The FIA is currently investigating the scandal and has already summoned McLaren to face an inquiry four days after the upcoming European Grand Prix.

"The team representatives have been called to answer a charge that between March and July 2007, in breach of Article 151c of the International Sporting Code, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes had unauthorized possession of documents and confidential information belonging to Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, including information that could be used to design, engineer, build, check, test, develop and/or run a 2007 Ferrari Formula One car," reads the statement from the FIA.

Reports said that Mike Coughlan, McLaren's chief designer who allegedly received the confidential dossiers, has confirmed that a number of people at McLaren have already seen the documents. McLaren, on the other hand, issued a statement saying that no one else in the organization has seen the dossiers.

"McLaren is concerned that erroneous speculation has arisen from inaccurate and misleading reference to the contents of confidential legal papers filed at court in response to Ferrari's UK action to recover its intellectual property," said the statement released by the British Formula One team. "This is unfortunate and is prejudicial to a fair interpretation of these matters."

"McLaren can confirm from its own investigation that no Ferrari materials or data are or have ever been in the possession of any McLaren employee other than the individual sued by Ferrari. The fact that he held at his home unsolicited materials from Ferrari was not known to any other member of the team prior to the July 3 2007."

"Furthermore, McLaren has categorically established that no Ferrari information has at any stage been used to develop its car. McLaren looks forward to having the opportunity to present the complete and accurate picture of events in the appropriate forum that is before the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Paris on July 26 2007," the statement continued to proclaim.

McLaren is currently the leader in the constructors' championship standings ahead of Ferrari. If the FIA found rules against McLaren, the team may see its hope for a long-awaited championship evaporate. The team's drivers, double world champion Fernando Alonso and rookie sensation Lewis Hamilton may be docked points or possibly even be excluded from the championship.

Mercedes-Benz' Norbert Haug though is not afraid of the investigation being conducted by the FIA. Mercedes-Benz supplies McLaren with engines and other racing parts such as and the like.

"Those who do nothing wrong have nothing to fear," said Haug. "We are not a team that wants to win races based on manipulations. It is in our interest to clear everything up. Everywhere in motor sport, Mercedes is well known for its fair play," he concluded.

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