Ecclestone on Renault verdict

Fri, 7 December 2007, 12:46

Bernie Ecclestone insists that the decision of the World Motor Sport Council to not penalise Renault was “fair”.

“We are always fair,” he said on Thursday as he exited the hearing at Casino Square in Monaco.

The British press, however, is accusing F1’s governing body of “double standards”, after fining McLaren $100m in September for a similar breach of the International Sporting Code relating to technical espionage.

But in the FIA’s original verdict in July, prior to the discovery of new evidence, McLaren also escaped penalty because there was insufficient evidence that the ‘Stepneygate’ secrets had been used.

The Paris body will publish a full verdict and transcripts on Friday.

“In the absence of a compelling explanation, they will be held culpable of double standards on a gigantic scale,” the Daily Mail observed.

But FIA president Max Mosley said he is “absolutely at ease” with the Monaco ruling.

“No decision is easy, it’s always complicated,” he insisted. “But I am absolutely at ease with this decision,” Mosley said in Monte Carlo.

McLaren chief executive Martin Whitmarsh said the British team does not want to comment fully until after the reasons for the verdict are known.

But he told the Guardian newspaper: “We made it very clear that we were not seeking a big penalty. We would not wish the same sort of penalty which we received to be imposed on any other competitor.”

Attention will return to the World Motor Sport Council on Friday, when McLaren will discover if further penalties will be imposed following inspections of its 2008 car.

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