The World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) met in Monaco on December 6th to hear evidence in regard to Renault being in possession of confidential McLaren information and decided to award no penalty. No details of the hearing have been given but the WMSC confirmed Renault was in breach of the regulations; the reason for no punishment is expected to be revealed on Friday.
"The World Council found Renault F1 to be in breach of article 151c of the International Sporting Code but imposed no penalty," said a brief statement from the FIA. "Detailed reasons for this decision will be issued on December 7, 2007, and a transcript of the proceedings will be published as soon as possible thereafter."
Earlier this year McLaren was excluded from the championship after it was found guilty of being in possession of Ferrari data, but had previously escaped punishment due to lack of evidence. However, when new evidence came to light the WMSC saw fit to strip the team of its constructors' points and impose a $10 million fine.
Despite the Renault case appearing to be quite similar, the French squad has always maintained that it co-operated fully with the FIA and McLaren once the information was discovered. Former McLaren employee Phil Mackereth joined Renault in September 2006 and apparently took McLaren data with him that was shown to other Renault employees.
Why the WMSC has decided not to punish Renault remains to be seen but the BBC suggests that FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting was satisfied that there was no McLaren intellectual property featured in Renault's design. However, as in the McLaren/Ferrari case, the sport's governing body may recall Renault if further evidence comes to light.
"I would like to thank Renault, our title sponsor ING and all our partners for their wholehearted support during this sensitive period," said managing director Flavio Briatore in a statement. "I also wish to pay tribute to the team, which has handled the matter with integrity and dignity. We are pleased that we can now focus fully on our preparations for the 2008 championship."