Dear Mr Macaluso

Thank you for your letter of 30 July

If, as you suggest, it were clear that several of McLaren's top team representatives were aware of the Ferrari information over a period of several months, the situation would indeed be very serious.

Apart from using Ferrari's technical knowledge to give the McLaren cars an illegitimate advantage over the entire field, detailed knowledge of Ferrari's technical strategies would give McLaren significant and unfair advantages over Ferrari at every race.

However McLaren's case was that, except for a tip-off in March and a drawing shown briefly to a colleague as a historical curiosity, no one at McLaren knew of or had access to any of that information. According to McLaren, it was acquired privately by a disgruntled employee who intended to leave. They inferred he never used Ferrari's information to help McLaren because it was part of his private database as technical director for another team.

There are a number of suspicious elements, all of which the World Motor Sport Council took into account when reaching its decision. For example: the claim that the tip-off was the only information that passed in March; the failure to inform Ferrari of a spy when negotiating an agreement based on mutual trust; the installation of a "firewall" at McLaren to stop Stepney communicating, with no attempt at a similar block on Coughlan's private computers; McLaren's agreement to Coughlan travelling to Barcelona "to ask Stepney to stop communicating" rather than simply phone him; the fact that, far from ceasing communication, Coughlan returned from Barcelona with a vast quantity of Ferrari data; the failure to make clear what Coughlan was working on at McLaren while in possession of the data; Jonathan Neale's advice to Coughlan to destroy the documents, without knowing or wanting to know what they were and so on.

However, these suspicions did not amount to proof to the standard the Council felt was necessary in order to reject the evidence of McLaren's Team Principal and Managing Director and convict the team of an offence so grave as in all probability to warrant the exclusion from the Championship. In the absence of unambiguous evidence that McLaren as a team had received and used the Ferrari information, the Council was left with McLaren's responsibility for its employee. Exclusion or withdrawal of points did not seem appropriate if it was really just a case of a rogue employee illegitimately acquiring information for his own purposes.

Your letter suggests that the outcome may have been different if the Council had given Ferrari further opportunities to be heard beyond those that were in fact offered.

Because of this and the importance of public confidence in the outcome, I will send this matter to the FIA Court of Appeal under article 23.1 of the FIA Statues with a request that the Court hear both Ferrari and McLaren and any other Championship competitor who so requests and determine whether the decision of the WMSC was appropriate and, if not, substitute such other decision as may be just.

Yours sincerely,

Max Mosley.

CC:
Mr Ron Dennis
Mr Jean Todt

 

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