Dennis was source of new spy evidence

Fri, 14 September 2007, 11:36

McLaren boss Ron Dennis revealed on Friday that he tipped off the FIA about the existence of incriminating emails that ultimately led to his team’s $100m fine and exclusion from the 2007 world championship.

While the identity of the emails’ authors – team drivers Fernando Alonso and Pedro de la Rosa – has been known for some time, it was thought that the whistleblower might have had a more malevolent motive.

Spaniard Alonso, for example, has reportedly been looking for an exit from his 2008 contract, while Flavio Briatore is keen to reunite the reigning world champion with Renault.

Dennis, however, told reporters at Spa-Francorchamps that he telephoned the governing body on the morning of the recent Hungarian grand prix, which prompted the Paris body to reopen the case.

“Once I became aware that new evidence might exist, I immediately phoned the FIA to keep them informed,” he said in Belgium.

Many believe that Dennis’ long history of integrity and honesty is reason enough for him to incriminate his own team in such a way.

But as reported earlier, a rumour has been swirling all day in the Spa paddock that Dennis actually pre-empted the disgruntled Alonso, who was at the time threatening to take the offending emails to the FIA.

It has also been suggested on Friday that former McLaren racer Kimi Raikkonen played a role in the espionage case by telling the FIA that McLaren often listened in on Ferrari’s scrambled radio messages at races throughout his five year tenure at the team.

Dennis, meanwhile, told reporters on Friday that McLaren had not decided whether to appeal the World Motor Sport Council’s sanction.

“We have seven days and are carefully considering the company’s position once we have a full understanding of the FIA’s findings,” he said.

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