FIA ’Spygate’ correspondence
FIA President Max Mosley said on Tuesday he would be appealing FIA's decision to exonerate McLaren, accused of spying on Ferrari. The following is correspondence between President of CSAI, Luigi Macaluso, to the President of the FIA, Max Mosley.
Letter to Max Mosley from Luigi Macaluso
We have been informed about the outcome of the most recent meeting of the World Motor Sport Council held on July 26, 2007 in Paris. We have also exchanged views with our license holder, Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro (owned by Ferrari SpA).
We must confess that we find it quite difficult to justify how a team has not been penalized while it has been found in breach of clause 151c of the International Sporting Code. Indeed, this probably is the most fundamental provision of our sport, In the present case the infringement is serious since it has been assessed that the team Vodafone McLaren Mercedes has repeatedly breached such provision, over several months, though several top team representatives, to the detriment of its most direct competitor and therefore to it direct or indirect advantage knowing that such infringement would still be ongoing would it had not been fortuitously discovered.
The very fact that the breach of clause 151c has been assessed by the World Motor Sport Council means that all conditions of such breach were fulfilled.
We cannot see why additional conditions would have demonstrated in order for a penalty to have been inflicted, The recent history of Formula 1 offers several examples of causes in which a party was inflicted a severe penalty because of a breach if clause 151c, without the subject matter of such having been used by a team or having any detrimental effect of the competition.
We fear that the decision of the World Motor Sport Council could create a precedent which, at this level of sport and stage of competition, would be highly inappropriate and detrimental for the sport.
In any event, in view of the aforesaid, we respectfully suggest that you, in your capacity as President of the FIA, in accordance with the powers granted to you by clause 23 paragraph 1 of the FIA Statutes and article 1 of the ICA Rules, submit the matter to the International Court of Appeal of the FIA.
This would also enable our license holder, Ferrari, on behalf of which we would take part to the proceedings, and perhaps other teams as well, to fully submit their position and protect their right. In effect, Ferrari – as at least two other teams attend the World Motor Sport Council in Paris as observers and not as a party. Accordingly, they did not have a full right of audience. As, however, Ferrari in any event had been seriously and directly affected by McLaren’s behavior, we deem it appropriate that Ferrari (directly or through ourselves) enjoys full rights of due process which would be the case in accordance with the rules applicable in front of the International Court of Appeal.
The President of ACI – CSAI
Copy to: Ferrari SpA, Maranello, Att Jean Todt CEO.
Letter to Luigi Macaluso from Max Mosley
Thank you for you letter of 30 July
If, as you suggest, it were clear that several of McLaren’s top representatives were aware of the Ferrari information over a period of several months, the situation would indeed be very serious.
Apart from using Ferrari’s technical knowledge to give McLaren cars an illegitimate advantage over the entire field, detailed knowledge of Ferrari’s technical strategies would give McLaren significant and unfair advantages over Ferrari at every race.
However McLaren’s case was that. Except for the tip-off in March and a drawing shown briefly to a colleague as a historical curiosity, no one at McLaren knew of or had access to any information. According to McLaren, it was acquired privately by a disgruntled employee who intended to leave. They inferred he never used Ferrari’s information to help McLaren because it was to be a part of a private database as technical director for another team.
There are a number of suspicious elements, all of which the World Motor Sport Council took into account when reaching its decision. For example: the claim that the tip-off was the only information that passed in March; the failure to inform Ferrari of a spy when negotiating an agreement based on mutual trust; the installation of a “firewall” at McLaren to stop Stepney communicating, with no attempt at a similar block on Coughlan’s private computers; McLaren agreement to Coughlan traveling to Barcelona “to ask Stepney to stop communicating” rather than simply phone him’ the fact that, far from ceasing communication, Coughlan returned from Barcelona with a vast quantity of Ferrari data; the failure to make clear that Coughlan was working on at McLaren while in possession of the data; Jonathan Neale’s advice to Coughlan to destroy document, without knowing or wanting to know what they were, and so on.
However, these suspicions did not amount to proof to the standard the Council felt was necessary in order to reject the evidence of McLaren’s Team principal and Managing Director and convict the team of an offence so grave as in all probability to warrant exclusion from the Championship. In the absence of unambiguous evidence that McLaren as a team had received and used Ferrari information, the Council was left with McLaren’s responsibility for its employee. Exclusion or withdrawal of points did not seem appropriate if it was just a case of a rogue employee illegitimately acquiring information got his own purposes.
Your letter suggests that the outcome may have been different if the Council had given Ferrari further opportunities to be heard beyond those that were in fact offered.
Because of this and the importance of public confidence in the outcome, I will send this matter to the FIA Court of Appeal under article 23.1 of the FIA Statutes with a request that the Court hear both Ferrari and McLaren and any other Championship competitor who so requests and determine whether the decision of the WMSC was appropriate and, if not, substitute such other decision as may be just.
. Ron Dennis Mr
. Jean Todt