Ferrari team principal Jean Todt has said that, if McLaren is cleared of any misdoing in F1's spy scandal for the second time this week, the Scuderia is prepared to take the matter to the civil courts.

McLaren representatives are due to appear before the FIA's World Motor Sport Council as part of an appeal hearing demanded by Ferrari, and could still face sanctions - including expulsion from the world championship - if found guilty of benefiting from the dossier of Ferrari data passed to chief designer Mike Coughlan earlier in the season. The team was censured for possessing the 'secrets' at the first hearing, but was found not guilty of any other offence as there was 'insufficient evidence' to prove that any information had been used to develop the MP4-22.

New evidence, believed to be included in emails exchanged by McLaren drivers Fernando Alonso and Pedro de la Rosa, has surfaced in the days before the second hearing, which Ferrari believes could be instrumental to proving its side of the argument, and Todt makes it clear that, should things go against the Scuderia for a second time, he would have no qualms about prolonging the battle outside of the sport's own jurisdiction.

"For us, it is something which is too important [to drop] and we will move forwards in Italy," he said in the wake of McLaren taking a 1-2 at Monza, "I'm not going to comment on what the decisions will be - I don't know what the decision will be, or then what can happen once the decision is taken - but [if necessary] we will move on with a civil court in the UK as well."

Unusually, Todt insisted that he has no influence on any penalty that might be applied to McLaren if the British team is found guilty in Thursday's hearing.

"It's not a menu where we get 'would you prefer number one or number two?'," he explained, as though the possibility of accuser setting punishment had become the norm, "We are not to chose. It's the FIA, the World Council, who will have to decide with the evidence that they will have in hand. Our duty is to make [available] as much evidence as possible for the World Council to understand exactly what happened.

"We did not accept [the first verdict] because we felt that the decision was not appropriate. If you see the wording of the decision 'in case of new evidence' things will be different, and we have new evidence. We have been able to produce new evidence."

Todt also pointed out that there was no chance of a deal being struck with McLaren in the run-up to the hearing, despite acknowledging that dragging the matter on and on through various courts is potentially damaging to Formula One.

"It's nothing to do with an agreement between Ferrari and McLaren," he insisted, "It's a case which is going to be taken in front of the World Council. It was normally a hearing from the International Court of Appeal, but the FIA has decided to stop this International Court of Appeal in the light of new evidence and to present that to the World Council instead. That's the problem.

"Of course it's affecting the sport. It's happened in athletics, it has happened with gold medal winners, it has happened with cycling, it has happened with football, and now it's something that's happening in Formula One. We are sorry that it happens in Formula One [but], unfortunately, we are in a position where we want the truth to appear. That's all that we want and all that we have been working for - and we are confident that the truth will come through."

 

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