Renault has issued a statement in regard to being summoned to appear before the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) and denies using any McLaren data on its car. The FIA this week confirmed that a WMSC hearing has been scheduled for December 9th,...
Renault has issued a statement in regard to being summoned to appear before the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) and denies using any McLaren data on its car. The FIA this week confirmed that a WMSC hearing has been scheduled for December 9th, where the French squad will face charges of being in breach of the sporting regulations by having unauthorised possession of confidential McLaren information.
The matter came to light when McLaren itself was embroiled in the Ferrari spy saga and its own investigations showed that an employee, Phil Mackereth, had taken team data with him when he left for Renault. Renault confirmed that Mackereth had some information on floppy discs that was loaded onto the team file system but that it was done without the knowledge of anyone in authority.
Renault claims that as soon as the situation became known to the technical management "the information was completely cleansed from the team's computer systems and a formal investigation was started. We promptly informed McLaren of the situation and immediately after the FIA." Mackereth was suspended and the floppy discs sent to solicitors for return to McLaren.
Apparently Mackereth, who joined Renault in September 2006, revealed to other engineers some reduced scale drawings relating to McLaren's fuel, gears, mass damper and suspension systems. "Subsequent witness statements from the engineers involved have categorically stated that having been briefly shown these drawings, none of this information was used to influence design decisions relating to the Renault car," the team said.
Renault believes that it has co-operated fully with McLaren and the FIA and has even invited McLaren's independent experts to look at its computer systems, cars and design records. "ING Renault F1 Team have acted with complete transparency towards McLaren and the FIA, being proactive in solving this matter and we are fully confident in the judgment of the World Council," the statement concluded.
This season has been overshadowed by controversy and evidently it's not over yet. Not only is the Renault case extending the unrest but there's also McLaren's appeal against the Interlagos stewards, which is to be heard on November 15th. BMW and Williams were not punished in Brazil for fuel irregularities but should the appeal court decide to overturn that decision it could affect the result of the drivers' championship.