Will McLaren be docked points in 2008?

November 1, 2007 at 11:11 am Leave a comment

Not content with slapping McLaren with a £50m fine and docking all their constructor points, Max Mosely has announced that independent experts would vet every inch of the 2008 car to ensure it isn’t covered with Ferrari technology. Fair enough, McLaren’s fingerprints are all over Maranello but how in the world will anyone be able to police this?

Mosely gives us a clue:

“The difficulty we have is that you’re not going to find on the McLaren a part that was designed by Ferrari. Instead, what you may find are ideas. But at this level of technology and at this level of motorsport, 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 perhaps being used by the other car. So we will be looking for the ideas. Finding something will not be easy. On the other hand, there are sources we are going to deploy who will give us as good a chance as it’s possible to have to find it. The investigation will be thorough, it will use outside experts and we will do everything we possibly can to make sure that either of the McLarens has no element of Ferrari intellectual property in it. If it does, we will then have to consider taking some sort of action.”

That’s right, these so-called experts will look for “ideas” that McLaren may have stolen from the Ferrari.

You can just picture it. A sweaty, old, graying mechanic trying to work out whether the McLaren barge boards have been ripped from Ferrari. “Jeez, the dimensions are similar, and you know what … it’s sort of painted the same colour, so snap.”And before you know it McLaren has been docked 50 constructor points.

The spying saga ripped through the heart of the 2007 F1 season. The last thing the sport needs is to be dragged through the mud by yet another controversy. We shouldn’t forget that the FIA does have an obligation to racing fans (and Ferrari) to ensure that teams are competing on a level playing field and it should have a thorough look at McLaren’s 2008 car. However, to punish a team on “ideas” is, quite frankly, laughable as demonstrating proof is nigh on impossible and many F1 teams engage in CIA-style skulduggery to try to snatch “ideas” from other teams.

For the good of all the FIA must tread very carefully over the next six months.


Entry filed under: Comment.

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