In the wake of the FIA deferring its decision on McLaren's 2008 car the team has issued a statement in which it apologises for the spy saga and admits that the Ferrari data was "more widely disseminated within McLaren than was previously communicated". McLaren has written to the World Motor Sport Council, making the letter public, to express its regret that the situation went so far.
The team conceded that the whole thing could have been avoided if it had informed the FIA as soon as it knew that Nigel Stepney had contacted Mike Coughlan and said it was embarrassed by the successive disclosures. It underlined the fact that no Ferrari information had been found on McLaren's car but the team would impose a moratorium on development to ensure no Ferrari data was carried over.
CEO Martin Whitmarsh, who's signature was on the letter, asked that the penalties already imposed on the team be taken into consideration when determining how to proceed. "The long term damage to the team's previously outstanding record and commercial capability is significantly greater than that potentially envisaged by the fiscal penalty that was previously imposed upon the team," the letter said.
"We would respectfully ask that in the light of this and the fact that it is reasonable to assume now that all of the damaging facts have been presented, that it may be appropriate and also incidentally in the interests of Formula One generally, to bring an urgent conclusion to this affair."
"We apologise wholeheartedly once more that it has taken the intervention of the FIA and a time consuming process to expose all of the facts emanating from this matter, but we hope that when the Council members have had time to consider the circumstances surrounding this case and the pressures that have been placed upon McLaren during our investigations, that our lapses in this respect are at least partially excusable."
The FIA has responded by asking the World Motor Sport Council to cancel the hearing scheduled for February 14th and "in the interests of the sport, to consider this matter closed."
For the full transcript of the letter see McLaren's letter to the WMSC