McLaren claims Renault spy case even bigger than theirs!
A memorandum leaked to the British press by McLaren claims that the Renault Formula One team had “33 files containing more than 780 individual drawings” constituting “the entire technical blueprint of McLaren’s 2006 and 2007 cars” on the Renault computers.
McLaren’s allegations against Renault will be heard by the FIA World Motorsports Council in December.
According to the memo, which the newspapers, including the Times, have specifically admitted was leaked to them by McLaren, there were seven senior Renault officials – including the chief of design, chief of research and development, chief of mechanical design, chief of transmission design, and chief of vehicle performance – who were in on the deal, and specifically engaged in discussions about the pilfered files.
McLaren claims the information was taken by Phil Mackereth, formerly an engineer with McLaren, when he left the team for Renault. McLaren claims that Mackereth took several “floppy discs” with him. McLaren has not explained why anyone would still have been using floppy discs in March of 2006 when Mackereth allegedly did this.
Unlike McLaren, who persisted in denying the facts until long after the team’s guilt had been established, Renault acted promptly when it discovered that Mackereth may have taken information from McLaren, informing both McLaren and the FIA. When McLaren found itself in possession of stolen information, it neither informed Ferrari nor informed the FIA.
Also, Renault immediately suspended Mackereth. That’s in contrast to McLaren’s treatment of their thieving employee, who was suspended only after police searched his residence and found the evidence.
Renault has asserted that they provided all information to the FIA and, further, that the information was not used. Indeed, according to Renault, it wasn’t much information, in the first place: “a drawing of a few systems, it was part of a drawing of a mass damper.”
So, now McLaren tries to say that everyone does what they did.
But, even if the facts according to McLaren are all true, they establish but one thing.
McLaren was an intentionally dishonest outfit, captained by people who engineered with dishonesty as part of their design tool. Rather than inform their competitor and the FIA when they discovered that a member of the team had stolen information from a competitoer, McLaren kept silent and used the information, then did their best Sgt. Schutz “I know nothing” impressiong.
The allegations against Renault are, of course, payback for the outspoken statements of Renault team leader Flavio Briatore during the McLaren/Ferrari controversy, statements which flat-out accused McLaren of lying and which, in the end, proved absolutely correct.
The latest stunt by McLaren makes it clear enough that the team fully merited the sanctions imposed on it by the FIA. No doubt this maneuver is designed to give McLaren leverage when it comes to scrutiny of next year’s car. They should be grateful that they will be allowed to run a car next year. Instead, they’re whining.
Too bad the FIA didn’t just suspend the team permanently. McLaren is proving that they cannot be trusted, that they will never be trustworthy, and that their participation in Formula One is, in all respects, a sad commentary on the competition in what once was the premier auto racing series in the world.