McLaren boss, Ron Dennis has hit out at Ferrari accusing the Scuderia of having won the season opening, Australian Grand Prix with an illegal car, as well as making 'grossly misleading' statements as the spy row continues to rumble on and on.

With the whole saga now due to go to the FIA's Court of Appeal later this month, Dennis has sent an open 3000-word letter to Luigi Macaluso, the president of the Italian Automobile Club, ACI-CSAI - and the man who called on FIA president Max Mosley to refer the matter to the appeal court.

It highlights in detail McLaren's take on the whole situation noting that the team's 'reputation has been unfairly sullied'.

"I would like to set the record straight and to explain to you in some detail why it was entirely fair that McLaren was not penalised [by the extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council] and why it would in fact also have been fair if McLaren had not been found to be in breach of Article 151 c at all," he explained in the letter.

Dennis goes on to add that McLaren's only knowledge of the Ferrari F2007 was to do with the floor device the Scuderia used at the Australian Grand Prix, a matter brought to the team's attention by ex-Ferrari engineer, Nigel Stepney.

He informed the team of the matter in what was, according to Dennis, a classic case of 'whistle-blowing', something that should, in Ron's view, be encouraged.

"Ferrari ran their cars with this illegal device at the Australian Grand Prix, which they won. In the interests of the sport, McLaren chose not to protest the result of the Australian Grand Prix even though it seems clear that Ferrari had an illegal competitive advantage," Dennis continued.

As for the dossier, which was eventually passed to suspended McLaren chief designer, Mike Coughlan, Dennis points out that these events were "quite separate from Mr Stepney's whistle blowing in March 2007, because during this period Mr Coughlan was acting secretly, in breach of his contract with McLaren, and for his own private purposes, quite conceivably as part of a scheme to leave McLaren and join another team together with Mr Stepney."

Dennis adds: "Ferrari has tried to confuse the March 2007 whistle-blowing by Mr Stepney (which McLaren did know about) with the events on and following 28 April 2007 (which Mr Coughlan kept completely secret). Let me make it clear: McLaren did know about the whistle blowing matters in March 2007 - indeed it reported these matters to the FIA. However that has nothing to do with what Mr Coughlan did on and after 28 April 2007. McLaren management and staff had no knowledge whatsoever about that."

Dennis concludes by saying that Ferrari did participate fully in the hearing last week, contrary to their claims they did not have a chance to present their side of the story, and did state their case both in writing and orally.

"We believe that the Ferrari press releases, the leaks to the Italian press and recent events have been damaging to Formula 1 as well as McLaren. The World Championship should be contested on the track not in Courts or in the press.

"We will naturally present our case before the FIA Court of Appeal as we strongly believe McLaren has done nothing wrong. It is our belief that justice will prevail and that McLaren will not be penalised," he summed-up.

 

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