McLaren may be implicated: FIA
The FIA, the sanctioning body for Formula One, has summoned McLaren to appear before it, accusing McLaren of violating Article 151c of the International Sporting Code by “unauthorized possession of documents and confidential information belonging to Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, including information that could be used to design, engineer, build, check, test, develop and/or run a 2007 Ferrari Formula One car."
The conduct is alleged to violate the rule, which provides in part that "any fraudulent conduct, or any act prejudicial to the interests of any competition, or to the interests of motor sport generally" is prohibited.
The decision by the FIA comes one day after McLaren’s suspended chief engineer, Mike Coughlan, agreed to cooperate with Ferrari and provided to Ferrari an affidavit detailing how he came to be in possession of 780 pages of confidential Ferrari documents. In exchange, Ferrari agreed not to provide that affidavit to Italian authorities.
Providing the affidavit was part of a civil suit brought against Coughlan and his wife by Ferrari. That in the space of a day’s time, Coughlin reached an agreement to cooperate with Ferrari is an indication that he has likely provided information which may implicate others. Rumors have indicated that other McLaren principals at least had knowledge of Coughlan’s possession of the stolen documents.
The FIA’s action may merely indicate that the controversy has grown too large to ignore. But it also follows indications that Ferrari would pursue the matter before the FIA and may indicate that Ferrari obtained information from Coughlan implicating others at McLaren. If so, McLaren could be sanctioned by loss of wins and points in the championship, though the FIA’s statement did not address the potential penalties which might be imposed.