Home - The Official Formula 1 Website Skip to content

McLaren escape penalty, despite breaching sporting code 26 Jul 2007

Ron Dennis (GBR) McLaren team owner arrives at the hearing. FIA World Motor Sport Council Hearing, Place de la Concorde, Paris, France, 26 July 2007. © FIA The Committee meeting. FIA World Motor Sport Council Hearing, Place de la Concorde, Paris, France, 26 July 2007. © FIA

McLaren will not be punished over their possession of confidential Ferrari data after Formula One racing’s governing body, the FIA, decided there was no proof that the team had made use of the information.

However, the FIA did find McLaren to be in breach of the International Sporting Code and warned them that they could face exclusion from the championship if they are subsequently found to have used the material.

The FIA said it also looking into possible legal action against Mike Coughlan - McLaren's suspended chief designer, who was in possession of the Ferrari documents - and Nigel Stepney, the sacked Ferrari engineer who is alleged to have supplied them.

Following Thursday’s extraordinary meeting of the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council, the following statement was issued:

“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.”