Ferrari furious as Mclaren escape punishment in spying case


Paris : The Ferrari Formula One team reacted with fury after rivals McLaren were let off without any immediate punishment in the F1 spying row.

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Despite McLaren being in possession of confidential Ferrari data it was deemed Thursday that there was "insufficient evidence" it had affected this year's title race, reports BBC.

"This decision legitimises dishonest behaviour in F1 and sets a very serious precedent," said a Ferrari statement.

"We feel this is highly prejudicial to the credibility of the sport."

McLaren described the verdict as "very balanced and fair" as they had committed a "purely technical breach" of the regulations.

The row erupted after the chance discovery that McLaren's chief designer Mike Coughlan – who has since been suspended by the team – was in possession of a confidential 780-page Ferrari technical dossier.

But the World Motorsport Council's disciplinary panel declined to impose any penalty because it said it could not find any evidence that "this information was used in such a way as to interfere improperly with the FIA F1 world championship."

Ferrari, who sacked former head of performance development Nigel Stepney over his alleged role in the affair, said they could not see any logic in this decision, and would continue with legal action in the Italian criminal courts and English civil courts.

"Ferrari… finds it incomprehensible that violating the fundamental principle of sporting honesty does not have, as a logical and inevitable consequence, the application of a sanction," the team statement said.

However, in a statement from McLaren, team boss Ron Dennis said: "Moving forward McLaren wants to re-affirm our long-standing commitment to honesty and integrity and re-state that we believe we have acted correctly throughout."

McLaren's British driver Lewis Hamilton, who leads the drivers' standings, said: "Whilst it's only my first season in Formula One with the team, I already know and appreciate the commitment and dedication of the people there.

"As a result I am pleased with the decision and can't wait for the rest of the season."