Nigel Mansell admits the current spying scandal currently engulfing Formula 1 is 'dreadful' for the reputation of the sport and the teams in question - even if he admits it is something that has always been apparent.

Formula 1 has been in the headlines this year more than most, partly for the effect of Lewis Hamilton, but also for the accusations against McLaren that they gained from 'intellectual property' originating from Ferrari.

Although the FIA found McLaren guilty of possession of illegal documents, they were not punished after it was accepted it was an isolated member of the team and it has not influenced their current car.

Nonetheless, Ferrari's furious reaction has made it headlines news again and with it going back to the appeal court in September, there is still coverage on the subject to come.

It is a state of affairs that 1992 World Champion and former McLaren and Ferrari driver Mansell is frustrated with and although he admits spying has been rife in the sport for years, he is disappointed it is going a long way to spoiling one of the closest title fights in years.

"It has always been there, but not to the levels that this is," he told "This is not good for the sport and it does take the edge off the sport. I think Formula 1 and the principles of Formula 1 have been very clever and astute by saying Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso won't be affected, but I think it does hurt the reputation of McLaren

Indeed, Mansell believes the row is affecting both teams that should otherwise be fighting for the title and it is a matter that won't be helped by the likely further revelations set to be exposed in the civil court.

"I think it is dreadful to have the situation between two major teams and heading to the civil court, which is where more will come out. It is a shame, but we cannot focus on that and we must instead focus on the racing. Still, we could all do without it really."



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