Using succinct language, Ferrari and McLaren Mercedes issued statements Friday to indicate they have buried the hatchet and are ready to make nice after last year's industrial espionage incident that rocked Formula One with the scandal before the...
Using succinct language, Ferrari and McLaren Mercedes issued statements Friday to indicate they have buried the hatchet and are ready to make nice after last year's industrial espionage incident that rocked Formula One with the scandal before the current one.
McLaren's statement read: "In light of the formal closure in December 2007 of the FIA and the FIA World Motor Sport Council proceedings against McLaren and of McLaren's public apology to Ferrari, which we have reiterated, Ferrari and McLaren have agreed to bring the various disputes between them in relation to this matter to a final conclusion. McLaren has also agreed to the reimbursement of Ferrari's costs and expenses relating to these matters and a concluding payment."
Ferrari's statement read: "Ferrari acknowledges McLaren's reiterated apology for the well-known events which occurred during the 2007 F1 Championship and, in the best interests of Formula One and taking into account the formal closure in December 2007 of the FIA and FIA World Motor Sport Council proceedings against McLaren, it confirms that it has accepted to put an end to all outstanding controversies between the two teams. Ferrari will donate to charity the concluding payment received from McLaren.
"Ferrari will pursue its claims against Nigel Stepney in connection with the matter."
Stepney was a Ferrari employee when he forwarded more than 700 pages of technical documents to McLaren employee Mike Coughlin. When it was discovered that the information had reached more than a few McLaren employees, the English team was fined $100 million (later halved) and stripped of FIA World Constructors' Championship points, which cost the team the 2007 world title.
Drivers Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton were allowed to retain their points because they gave evidence to the FIA; the two ended the season tied on points, one behind Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, who won the World Drivers' Championship. Ferrari won the constructors' title.
Besides the fine, which was designated for FIA safety programs, McLaren was compelled to allow FIA personnel to inspect the 2008 car, the MP4-23, and remove systems dervied from the Ferrari information.
Not addressed by the teams' statements was an investigation undertaken by Italian authorities after Ferrari filed a complaint. Italian police last year searched the McLaren Technology Centre and the homes of top McLaren employees, including team principal Ron Dennis.
The announcements are intended to end the dispute between two of F1's dominant teams the past several years. So far, only hard-core conspiracy theorists link the sport's current scandal and court proceedings involving the FIA president to the FIA's 2007 actions against McLaren.