FIA president Max Mosley on Tuesday agreed to send the espionage case against McLaren to the governing body’s Court of Appeal.
Following the written request of Ferrari’s national sanctioning organisation, the Automobile Club d’Italia (ACI), Mosley said it was right to further investigate the case because Ferrari had not been allowed to present evidence in last Thursday’s hearing of the World Motor Sport Council.
McLaren in Paris was found to be in breach of clause 151c of the International Sporting Code but was not penalised, which in ACI president Luigi Macaluso’s view is “quite difficult to justify”.
He claimed that “several top team representatives” of McLaren knew about chief designer Mike Coughlan’s espionage activities over several months, but that Ferrari had been unable to counter McLaren’s defence that no employee besides Coughlan knew about the 780-pages of secret information.
In a written reply to Macaluso, who after the Paris hearing had also verbally questioned the FIA’s decision, Mosley said probing the matter further was also important for “public confidence in the outcome”.
He wrote: “I will send this matter to the FIA Court of Appeal … with a request that the Court hear both Ferrari and McLaren and any other Championship competitor who so requests and determine whether the decision of the WMSC was appropriate and, if not substitute such other decision as may be just.”