Just when you think that perhaps we’ll make it thru the rest of the year without further legal shenanigans occurring in the Formula 1 arena, word comes of the next major bombshell.
Of course its of little surprise to me that Flavour Flav was in total “Denial Mode” when the first whispers of the story started to make the rounds, as Renault was thought to be in illegal possession of McLaren technical documents.
Yet Renault has issued the following statement that this is indeed true, as Phil Mackereth, an engineer whom joined the team from McLaren in 2006 had brought several floppy discs with him containing Proprietary information.
Renault claims that this information was loaded onto their computer system and Mr. Mackereth’s personal directory before subsequently coming to light on September 6th, nearly one year after his joining the team.
Renault claims when the information was divulged to the Senior Technical Management, it immediately informed McLaren and Mackereth was suspended. Renault also insists that none of the data was used for either of its 2006 or 2007 chassis.
Thus a whole new chapter in the “Spy Gate” saga currently gripping Formula 1 is set to be written as Renault has been issued a summons before the FIA tribunal on December 6th. And it seems only logical to assume that Renault should suffer no fewer penalties then were handed out to McLaren in regards to “Stepney Gate” earlier this year. Especially since McLaren was deemed to not have actual possession of any of the damaging documents on its internal computer systems.
Interestingly even more Draconian punishment was thought to be possible for McLaren before the final ruling and thus Renault at the very least will loose its 2007 Constructors points and be fined $100 million…
If the penalties are more severe, this in turn could affect Fernando Alonso’s return to the team in 2008, as Ferdi the Putz is conveniently on vacation for the time being. Perhaps in Germany, near Colone. (Can you say Toyota?)
It will be strange having two major F1 powerhouses at the tail end of pit lane. Loosing out on other normal “perks” associated with being one of the “Top Four,” which the FIA pays its freight costs for. And much to their chagrin, the rest of the grid will move forward another place…