The World Motor Sport Council has confirmed that it has no proof that any information gleaned from the massive dossier of Ferrari data was used in the design and build of McLaren's championship-leading MP4-22.

In a 14-page summary of Thursday's 'spygate' hearing, the WMSC admitted that there was no evidence to show that any part of the current McLaren was influenced by the dossier allegedly passed to chief designer Mike Coughlan by Ferrari's Nigel Stepney, but insisted that it could not believe that information contained within was not used to influence the way Coughlan carried out his role at Woking.

"The WMSC does not have evidence that any complete Ferrari design was copied and subsequently wholly incorporated into the McLaren car as a result of Coughlan passing confidential from Stepney to McLaren," section 5.3 of the report, issued at the Belgian Grand Prix, read.

"However, it is difficult to accept that the secret Ferrari information that was within Coughlan's knowledge never influenced his judgement in the performance of his duties. It is not necessary for McLaren to have copied a complete Ferrari design for it to have benefited from Coughlan's knowledge. For example, the secret Ferrari information cannot but have informed the views Coughlan expressed to others in the McLaren design department, for example regarding which design projects to prioritise or which research to pursue. The advantage gained may have been as subtle as Coughlan being in a position to suggest alternative ways of approaching different design challenges."

McLaren had earlier claim that Coughlan had a relatively limited managerial role and that it would not be possible for him to propose ideas without having to explain where they came from, or without other people being aware of the origins, and the team submitted statements from several engineers claiming not to have been aware of changes made to the McLaren car using confidential Ferrari information.

The WMSC was also critical of McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale, who, it felt, could have done more to address the situation when he became aware of Coughlan's communication with Stepney.

The report claims that Coughlan had told Neale that Stepney had attempted to pass over 'secret Ferrari information', prompting Neale to establish a firewall to prevent further contact. Coughlan was also directed to cease contact with the Ferrari man. However, within a matter of weeks, Coughlan attempted to show Neale photographs which the MD felt should not have been in the designer's possession. However, rather than establish the source and, if necessary, take action against Coughlan, Neale admits to telling the designer merely to destroy the photographs.

"The WMSC notes that it is very unsatisfactory that no further action was taken to investigate this matter further and make appropriate disclosures to the FIA as regulator," the report claimed.

 

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