Ferrari, McLaren bring closure to spy row
|By Jonathan Noble
||Friday, July 11th 2008, 10:40 GMT
Ferrari and McLaren have agreed to bring closure to the spy controversy that marred last year's fight for the Formula One world championship after settling any remaining differences they had over the matter.
McLaren were fined $100 million and thrown out of last year's constructors' championship after they were found guilty in the spy saga when a dossier of secret Ferrari information was found to be in possession of one of their employees.
Although the matter was brought to a formal close by the FIA last December, when McLaren publicly apologised for their behaviour, there remained some unresolved issues between the Woking-based team and their Maranello rivals.
However, in separate statements issued by McLaren and Ferrari on Friday morning, the teams confirmed that they had sorted out all outstanding issues in a bid to allow both of them and F1 to move on.
"In light of the formal closure in December 2007 of the FIA and FIA World Motor Sport Council proceedings against McLaren, and of McLaren's public apology to Ferrari which we have reiterated, Ferrari and McLaren have agreed to bring the various disputes between them in relation to this matter to a final conclusion," said a statement from McLaren.
"McLaren have also agreed to the reimbursement of Ferrari's costs and expenses relating to these matters and a concluding payment."
Ferrari welcomed McLaren's actions and said they would donate the money they received from their rivals to good causes.
"Ferrari acknowledges McLaren's reiterated apology for the well known events which occurred during the 2007 F1 Championship and, in the best interests of Formula One and taking into account the formal closure in December 2007 of the FIA and FIA World Motor Sport Council proceedings against McLaren, it confirms that it has accepted to put an end to all outstanding controversies between the two teams," said a statement issued by Ferrari. "Ferrari will donate to charity the concluding payment received from McLaren."
Although legal action against McLaren has begun in Italy regarding the matter, the fact that Ferrari have now settled their differences means there is unlikely to be an impetus to push forward on this front.
However, Ferrari have made it clear that they will continue their claims against former chief mechanic Nigel Stepney over the matter. Stepney is alleged to have handed over the 780-page dossier of information to McLaren's former chief designer Mike Coughlan.
The Ferrari statement added: "Ferrari will pursue its claims against Nigel Stepney in connection with the matter."