F1 trio say spy scandals good for F1

(GMM) A trio of formula one luminaries have rejected suggestions that the espionage scandals in 2007 damaged the sport.

The illegal transfer of secrets between Ferrari and McLaren, and subsequently McLaren and Renault, was by some compared to the destructive doping scandals of international cycling.

But Mario Andretti, the world champion of 1978, told Autoweek: "You might think it hurts credibility, but you know what? It brought a lot of attention, and it's not all that bad."

Triple world champion Niki Lauda agrees that the intense media exposure can in hindsight be seen as positive.

"It was a very good year for F1 from a publicity point of view," he told the magazine Business 24-7.

"There was so much bad news, but then any news is good news," Lauda added.

Max Mosley, president of the governing body FIA, said in an interview with The Guardian: "People are interested in the human aspect, and the whole human aspect of the Ferrari-McLaren thing fascinated a lot of people outside formula one.

"The publicity actually increases interest. So I don't think it does any harm to formula one as long as the sponsors and so on feel the sport is honestly run and honestly governed," he added.

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