F1 unmasks 'spooks'
Mosley signs report detailing extent of infiltration into Ferrari’s secrets
The FIA has published a 14-page document detailing the findings of the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) in respect of McLaren.
The document has Max Mosley’s name at its conclusion, which suggests that he has personally overseen every word of it.
The document outlines the new evidence that led to the recent reconvening of the WMSC to discuss the ‘spying’ saga. As previously revealed, much of it revolves around contact between Mike Coughlan, McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa, and Fernando Alonso.
Copies of e-mails from de la Rosa are reproduced, including messages where he asked Coughlan about Ferrari’s weight distribution. In another, he tells Alonso of information that came direct from Nigel Stepney, including mention of Stepney telling Coughlan on what lap Kimi Raikkonen would stop in the Australian GP.
There is also a discussion of a gas that Ferrari used to inflate its tyres to reduce the internal temperature and blistering. Although in the FIA document the details have been censored, this is believed to have been nitrogen.
As well as Coughlan’s contacts with de la Rosa, the WMSC heard more details about the degree of contact between Coughlan and Stepney, thanks to information provided by the Italian police.
It is claimed “at least 288 SMS [text] messages and 35 telephone calls appear to have passed between Coughlan and Stepney between March 11, 2007 and July 3, 2007”.
De la Rosa claims he did not discuss the information he gleaned with anyone else within McLaren.However, the WMSC seemingly does not believe him and its conclusions appear to be based largely on the supposition that he must have talked to others. The same goes for Coughlan, and the WMSC clearly believes that he was aided in doing his duties for McLaren by information he had gleaned from Stepney.
• Read Nigel Roebuck, p34
Key conclusions include the following:
* Coughlan had more information than previously appreciated, and was receiving it systematically for months.
* The information has been disseminated, at least to some degree, within McLaren (eg, to de la Rosa and Alonso).
* The information being disseminated within the McLaren team included not only highly sensitive technical information but also secret information regarding Ferrari’s race strategy.
* De la Rosa, in the performance of his functions at McLaren, requested and received secret Ferrari information from a source he knew to be illegitimate and expressly stated his purpose was to test it in the simulator.
* The secret information in question was shared with Alonso.
* There was a clear intention by several McLaren personnel to use some of the Ferrari confidential material in its own testing. If this was not, in fact, carried into effect it was only because there were technical reasons not to do so.
* Coughlan’s role within McLaren (as now understood by the WMSC) meant his knowledge of the secret Ferrari information would have influenced him in the performance of his duties.
McLaren argued there was no evidence of Ferrari intellectual property featuring on its car. However, the WMSC said ‘neither the finding of a breach nor the imposition of a penalty require evidence of McLaren having directly incorporated Ferrari technology’. The WMSC concluded “some degree of sporting advantage was obtained, though it may forever be impossible to quantify that advantage in concrete terms”.