Hamilton, not Alonso, travels to Paris

Thu, 13 September 2007, 01:31

Lewis Hamilton, but not his 2007 teammate Fernando Alonso, will appear for McLaren on Thursday as the World Motor Sport Council meets to consider ‘new evidence’ in the espionage saga.

It is believed that the 22-year-old championship leader will be used as a character witness, as speculation mounts about possible hefty penalties for the Woking based team, including total exclusion from the 2007 season.

Alonso, meanwhile – although his email evidence is thought central to the case – will be at Spa-Francorchamps ahead of the Belgian grand prix. His Spanish countryman Pedro de la Rosa, on the other hand, will like Hamilton be in Paris.

Details of the 166-page FIA evidence dossier has continued to leak into the media, with the Daily Mail apparently quoting from an email from engineering director Paddy Lowe to test driver de la Rosa.

“Let’s try these new things,” Lowe reportedly wrote to the Spaniard, referring to tyre use and brake balance.

“They are from Ferrari. Nigel Stepney has sent them to Mike Coughlan.”

It also emerges that Stepney and Coughlan not only met once at Barcelona earlier this year, but conversed several hundred times by email, telephone and text-message, particularly before races.

Some of their email conversations reportedly had to be reconstructed after they were deleted from computers, and Italian investigators believe they also met face-to-face several times.

A McLaren spokeswoman would not comment on the reports, but it is known that Mercedes’ Norbert Haug met for 30 minutes with FIA president Max Mosley at the Frankfurt motor show earlier this week.

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