Mosley warns McLaren UPDATE You quote Max Mosley declaring that the FIA is unlikely to find components in the 2008 McLaren car identical to those found in the 2007 or 2008 Ferrari (McLaren must prove 2008 car has no Ferrari parts, Sport, November 1). Rather, he stated, the FIA will be looking for ideas. One assumes that some expert will examine the McLaren and be asked to see if there are similarities with an equivalent Ferrari component. If there are, what does the expert conclude? In the past, formula one cars were designed by often brilliant engineers such as Colin Chapman or the Cooper Brothers, working on a drafting board employing "hand" calculations based on engineering handbooks and codes. This is no longer the case. Modern F1 cars employ complex computer-simulation codes for analyzing the structure and the aerodynamic flows, supported by advanced design-optimization programs able to automatically seek best-design solutions.
These are now so advanced that the designer does not need to provide a basic design and can ask the computer to create a component ab initio. Two different engineers confronting the same design problem with access to this technology could well come forward with very similar designs.
This type of integrated design software is commercially available from a number of companies. So, when the FIA expert finds a similarity between a McLaren and a Ferrari component, is this evidence of espionage - or that two designers asked the same question and their integrated design programs came up with similar solutions.
Alan Morris, Emeritus professor of computational structural analysis, Cranfield University
11/01/07 Max Mosley has warned McLaren that they could start next year's campaign on a negative points score if any Ferrari ideas are found in the design of their 2008 car.
McLaren were excluded from the 2007 Constructors' Championship after it was found that their chief designer Mike Coughlan had obtained over 780 pages of the Scuderia's technical secrets from sacked Ferrari mechanic Nigel Stepney.
Aside from the exclusion and the hefty fine handed to McLaren, the FIA also ruled that McLaren's 2008 challenger would face strict scrutineering prior to the start of the new season.
The scrutineering, which will be done by "outside experts", is to ensure that the Woking team doesn't include any of Ferrari's intellectual property in the design of their new car.
And Mosley has warned McLaren that should it be found that they have, the Woking team won't be excluded from the Championship but they will find themselves starting the season with a negative points score.
"That (Ferrari data) was in the hands of the chief designer at precisely the moment he was designing the 2008 McLaren," the FIA President told the BBC.
"The difficulty we have is that you're not going to find on the McLaren a part that was designed by Ferrari.
"What you may find are ideas and at this level of technology at this level of motorsport, if the idea is given to the chief designer he will make a component utilizing that idea which bears no relation at all to the component perhaps being used by the other car.
"So we will be looking for the ideas. The investigation will be thorough, it will use outside experts and we will do everything we possibly can to make sure that either of the McLarens has no element of Ferrari intellectual property in it or if it does we will then have to consider taking some sort of action.
"That would not necessarily be preventing them from running. It would be more likely that they would be given a negative point allocation.
"Finding something will not be easy. On the other hand, there are sources we are going to deploy who will give us as good a chance as its possible to have to find it." TSN.ca