The World Motor Sport Council has admitted that the new evidence unveiled in the second hearing into the 'spygate' affair ensured that McLaren's breach of the rules was 'materially different' to that which was uncovered during the first hearing in July.

A raft of new evidence, including e-mails and text messages exchanged between Fernando Alonso and Pedro de la Rosa, showed that the data gleaned from Ferrari's Nigel Stepney by McLaren's Mike Coughlan had been spread more widely that first believed by McLaren senior management - with Ron Dennis having earlier commented that only Coughlan was in possession of the information.

However, with the drivers offered immunity in exchange for information relating to the case, e-mails involving both de la Rosa and Alonso (Hamilton having said he has no information of use to the court) were used to show how the information had been spread through the team and played a part in McLaren being hit with a $100 million fine and exclusion from the constructors' championship.

"These factors lead the WMSC to an appreciation of the gravity of McLaren's breach which is materially different to the appreciation in the 26 July Decision," article 8.13 of the WMSC decision read. "On this occasion the WMSC believes that a penalty is merited."

Both McLaren and Hamilton's counsel were then able to comment on the appropriateness of penalties imposed before the decision was taken.

The WMSC also stated in its decision that it will be keeping a close eye on the development of the new 2008 McLaren car to ensure it doesn't benefit from Ferrari technology - while the team was also reminded of its right to appeal the decisions taken.

"In the interest of ensuring that McLaren is not unfairly advantaged as against any of its competitors in the 2008 Championship, the WMSC instructs the FIA technical department to conduct an investigation of McLaren's preparatory work on its 2008 car with a view to determining whether that car incorporates any Ferrari confidential information and report back before the WMSC meeting of December 2007," the decision read. "Once the WMSC has considered this report, a separate Decision will be taken regarding McLaren's participation in the 2008 Championship, including whether any penalty should be imposed. This present Decision does not in any way affect McLaren's entitlement to participate in the 2008 Championship if the entry conditions are fulfilled.

"McLaren is reminded of its right of appeal. In the event that an appeal is lodged with the FIA International Court of Appeal, the effect of this Decision will not be suspended pending the outcome of that appeal."

 

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