New spy saga rumours fall flat in Belgium

Sun, 16 September 2007, 04:11

Expectations that another espionage scandal would explode at the scene of the Belgian grand prix this weekend appear to have fallen flat.

It was reported recently that McLaren, at the centre of the scandal involving Ferrari, might be in possession of evidence that proves defecting engineer Phil Mackereth took with him to Renault three disks of detailed information about the Woking based team’s cooling and electronic systems.

Team boss Flavio Briatore in Belgium bristled at the suggestion that the case sounded similar to the ‘Stepneygate’ affair.

“If somebody tells me it’s the same, I sue somebody, quickly,” he said, albeit confirming that he had provided information about the case to the FIA and also to McLaren.

A spokesman for F1’s governing body also confirmed that Renault is not currently being investigated.

But “if we are asked to investigate any allegations against another team, we will,” the spokesman said.

FIA president Max Mosley, meanwhile, dismissed rumours that McLaren also suspects Ferrari of yet another case of espionage.

“The documents we’ve so far been given don’t support that (claim),” Mosley said at Spa-Francorchamps, confirming that the matters were raised at McLaren’s espionage hearing in Paris last week.

He explained: “We were told there was going to be a great bombshell about Ferrari. Well, it turned out to be that Ferrari listen to radio communications in the pit lane. The first thing that Ron (Dennis) had admit in cross examination was that he does the same thing.”

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