Former Formula 1 title winner Damon Hill says the latest twist to the F1 spying row could damage the sport after the announcement that Renault has been summoned to appear before the World Motor Sport Council.

The Regie will appear before the FIA after McLaren accused the Enstone based outfit of being in possession of confidential team information including 'the layout and critical dimensions of the McLaren F1 car' - charges similar to those that saw McLaren excluded from the constructors' championship and hit with a record-breaking fine.

The spying saga wasn't the only contentious issue during the year with McLaren accusing Ferrari of using an illegal car for the season opening Australian Grand Prix - something that went unpunished - and Hill said that there needed to be consistency in judicial proceedings if the sport is not going to be damaged.

"Why were Ferrari just given a slap on the wrist and told not to do it again after winning the first race with a device [a flexible floor] that was illegal?" he told the Daily Telegraph. "This brings about a lot of the problems relating to justice and consistency.

"In this country we are quite sophisticated sport and political spectators. If things don't stack up, and continue to fly in the face of what we regard as being just and fair, then the danger is people will just walk away. It's a problem that has existed for a long time in this sport, not knowing whether to believe things or not.

"I'm not a lone voice here. There are a lot of people who love this sport and have got a lot out of it, who want it to be a healthy sport and to attract people to it. When there are episodes like we had in the last season our hearts sink because we think that they're not doing it any good.

"Last season was the best in F1 for a long time, most notably because there were four drivers who could have been world champion. That brought about a massive amount of interest in the sport for the right reasons. It did not need any more controversy or sideshows."

Hill added that much of his concern came from the handling of the spying saga, which ultimately overshadowed the fight for the drivers' championship.

Pointing to the similar case between Ferrari and Toyota in the past, Hill said he couldn't fully understand how the FIA had reached the verdict it did in regard to McLaren - stating that he felt there were questions which had gone unanswered.

"I would like to understand how the Ferrari-Toyota case, which ended in court, did not lead to the same outcome as the Ferrari-McLaren case?" he said. "Why was there no punishment of the team [Toyota]?

"There was an uncomfortable feeling that there was something more to the McLaren outcome than the issue being investigated. The way that justice was meted out raised some questions about the way the FIA handle these breaches.

"If breaches occur then those things should be investigated and dealt with sensibly and appropriately. But in that case there were lots of questions about what really happened that went unanswered."



Loading Comments...