McLaren bashing continues

From the Guardian:

There was more bad news for McLaren yesterday when the FIA president Max Mosley said that not only was it unlikely that Hamilton would be crowned 2007 world champion, even if the team’s appeal against the stewards’ decision not to penalise BMW Sauber and Williams for breaching fuel regulations in the Brazilian grand prix were successful, but the 22-year-old Briton could start the 2008 season with a negative points score should Ferrari’s intellectual property be found to have been used in his car.

“Ferrari data was in the hands of the [McLaren] chief designer at precisely the moment he was designing the 2008 McLaren,” Mosley said. “The difficulty we have is that we are not going to find a part that was designed by Ferrari. What you may find are ideas and at this level of technology, if the idea is given to the chief designer he will make a component utilising that idea which bears no relation at all to the component being used by the other car.

“So we will be looking for the ideas. The investigation will be thorough and it will use outside experts. We will do everything we possibly can to make sure that neither of the McLarens has any element of Ferrari intellectual property in it. Or, if it does, we will then have to consider taking some sort of action. That would not necessarily prevent them from running, it would be more likely that they would be given a negative point allocation.”

A McLaren spokesperson said: “We have no comment other than that we will cooperate fully with the FIA. Bring it on.”

A Ferrari source suggested managers at the Italian team would be best qualified to know what, if any, innovations on the McLaren are the fruits of espionage. “Ferrari knows what was passed to McLaren and what can be used,” he said. “It is not necessarily about copying but about gaining advantage by knowing what the other side is doing. When you play poker and know what cards your opponent has, you have an immediate advantage.”


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