Magistrate denies Ferrari spy collusion

Wed, 12 September 2007, 03:08

The public prosecutor of the northern Italian region of Modena has refuted the insinuation that it colluded with Ferrari at the Italian grand prix last weekend.

After key McLaren figures were presented by uniformed officials with avviso di garanzias just prior to qualifying at Monza, the Woking based team said in a statement that “we strongly suspect that the nature and timing of this wholly unnecessary contact … was to disrupt our preparation for this important session and Thursday’s World Motor Sport Council hearing”.

Modena magistrate Giuseppe Tibis, however, has refuted the charge, telling the newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport that his office was “obliged” to act in accordance with Italian law.

German specialist magazine Auto Motor und Sport, meanwhile, claims that the magistrate officers – not police, as was reported at the time – patiently waited in the McLaren motor home for several hours while the team chiefs in question concentrated on qualifying, and the arrival of lawyers from Britain.

Later, even boss Ron Dennis toned down the earlier enmity of his team’s press statement.

“They were not hostile,” he said of the men who had presented the legal notices. “They were extremely polite, we were not charged with anything, we were not accused, they were not aggressive and were understanding I had other responsibilities on that day.

“Their behaviour was impeccable, and I understood completely they were seeking to follow a process laid down under Italian law,” Dennis added.

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