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F1: has McLaren traded apology for clearance to race?


McLaren has today published a statement apologising for the extent to which Ferrari data was disseminated throughout its organisation.

And Max Mosley has reportedly written to members of the World Motorsport Council asking for consent to cancel the February hearing into the legality of the team’s 2008 car.


The hearing was due to take place to discuss “doubts” over whether the McLaren car was indeed free of any trace of Ferrari design specifications.

It was due to be held last week but was postponed in order to give interested parties time to absorb a report compiled by FIA inspectors after visiting McLaren’s Woking factory.

Mosley is reported by the BBC to have made the move “in the light of McLaren’s public apology and undertakings,” asking the WMSC “in the interests of the sport, to consider this matter closed”.

The McLaren statement, published on its website, says: “As a result of the investigations carried out by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile it has become clear that Ferrari information was more widely disseminated within McLaren than was previously communicated.

“McLaren greatly regrets that its own investigations did not identify this material and has written to the World Motor Sport Council to apologise for this.

“McLaren has written a letter to the FIA which in the interests of transparency it is publishing with this press statement. That letter speaks for itself and the sentiments expressed in it are sincerely held by McLaren.

“McLaren has also written to the World Motor Sport Council to apologise that it has taken an FIA investigation to find this information and have expressed our deep regret that our understanding of the facts was improved as a result of the FIA inspection rather than our own investigations.

“McLaren has recognised that this entire situation could have been avoided if we had informed Ferrari and the FIA about Nigel Stepney’s first communication when it came to our attention. We are, of course, embarrassed by the successive disclosures and have apologised unreservedly to the FIA World Motor Sport Council.”

Read full statement here >>

(And read McLaren’s letter to the FIA and WMSC too – we’d strongly recommend clicking through to this in order to understand the complete picture of what is going on here.)

The team has also offered to freeze development of three disputed aspects of its 2008 car.

Its publication follows an incident a week ago when it was asked to publish a statement refuting some claims about the extent of Renault’s possession of its own confidential data reportedly made by a journalist briefing on its behalf.


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