Although it admits that it has no proof that information from confidential Ferrari documentation has been used in the design of the McLaren MP4-22, the FIA World Motor Sport Council says it is clear that chief designer Mike Coughlan was seeking to give his team a sporting advantage over its Italian rivals.

A 14 page statement issued by the FIA went into further detail about how it came about the decision to fine McLaren $100 million and exclude the Mercedes-powered outfit from the constructors' championship.

In its assessment of the evidence outlined in the hearing at FIA headquarters in Paris, the WMSC - which had already found McLaren guilty of being in possession of the documentation at an early hearing - explained that new evidence that had been unearthed had shown Coughlan to have 'more information than previously appreciated'.

The document also stated that the information he had received from Ferrari's Nigel Stepney had been passed around members of the team - as detailed in a series of e-mails put before the court.

"It seems to the WMSC clear that Coughlan's actions were intended by him to give McLaren a sporting advantage," article 8.9 of the decision read. "He fed information about Ferrari's stopping strategy, braking system, weight distribution and other matters to McLaren's test driver [Pedro de la Rosa]. Furthermore, in light of Coughlan's undoubted experience, he is likely to have known a great deal about how to confer an advantage and the roles of different personnel within the team.

"It seems most unlikely that he confined his activities to sharing Ferrari's information with Mr. de la Rosa. It also seems most unlikely that his own work was not influenced in some way by the knowledge regarding the Ferrari car that he is known to have possessed."

"Furthermore, it seems entirely unlikely to the WMSC that any Formula One driver would bear the sole responsibility for handling or processing sensitive Ferrari information (e.g. on substances used to inflate tyres or weight distribution) or deciding how or whether such information would be used or tested," the document continued into article 8.10 and 8.11. "In light of his experience, Coughlan would have known this and if he intended to reveal this information to McLaren, he is unlikely to have done so only to Mr. de la Rosa.

"The WMSC therefore finds that a number of McLaren employees or agents were in unauthorised possession of, or knew or should have known that other McLaren employees or agents were in unauthorised possession of, highly confidential Ferrari technical information. In addition, the WMSC finds that there was an intention on the part of a number of McLaren personnel to use some of the Ferrari confidential information in its own testing."

With that in mind, the WMSC said it could only conclude that some advantage was gained although it 'may forever be impossible to quantify' how big that advantage was.

 

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