Although the World Motor Sport Council has handed down its decision in the latest turn of the 'spygate' affair, questions are still being asked in the Formula One paddock.

Among them are queries as to the extent of Lewis Hamilton's knowledge of the 'sensitive information' that it now transpires was passed around between several members of the McLaren operation, including fellow drivers Fernando Alonso and Pedro de la Rosa. Both Spaniards submitted e-mails and SMS messages to the enquiry, revealing themselves to have been party to details acquired by chief designer Mike Coughlan from Ferrari's Nigel Stepney, but Hamilton responded to a similar FIA summons by declaring that he had nothing to offer related to the case.

The Spanish media, in particular, has picked up on this and, whilst acknowledging Hamilton's appearance at the Paris hearing on Thursday, has pondered how ignorant of the situation a driver who spends so much time with his engineers could be.

Questioning his motives for claiming not to be in possession of any information, as.com suggests a tactical move designed to further ingratiate himself with McLaren at a time when the balance of power between himself and Alonso - as well as the battle for the world title - was reaching intense levels. While Alonso went on to incriminate the team by admitting to conversations with de la Rosa about developments on the 2007 Ferrari, Hamilton kept quiet.

The report suggests that the Briton only attended the hearing for fear of being stripped of his licence or seeing McLaren kicked out of the championship should he be absent, and reports that, in the end, he was questioned too heavily on the matter.

Alonso, meanwhile, insists that the 'jury' had a lot more information to work with than just the e-mails he had exchanged with de la Rosa.

Although reluctant to discuss the case, or the outcome that saw McLaren stripped of all constructors' points and fined $100 million, the double world champion insisted that his contribution had not been the turning point.

"There were many e-mails, but I do not believe that the decision taken was based purely on some e-mails," he told marca.com, "I suppose that they would have had a lot more information.

"There is nothing more to say. The team will decide if it appeals or not. As to any of the decisions taken, you accept them and continue running. You continue doing everything possible to win races. This does not change anything as far as the way I go about confronting this race and trying to win it, and continuing to fight for the world championship. I am only thinking about winning the race, and thinking about winning the championship."

 

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