Renault in dock as new spy saga ignites

Thu, 8 November 2007, 09:18

Renault chiefs have been summoned to the World Motor Sport Council as a new espionage saga kicks off in formula one.

Mere weeks after McLaren was kicked out of the 2007 constructors’ championship and fined $100m for spying on Ferrari, it now emerges that Renault is similarly accused of possessing secret data about the McLaren car.

At the height of the so-called Stepney-gate scandal, it was reported that McLaren had evidence that Renault was also involved in a case of espionage, following the departure of an engineer to the French team.

Media reports identified the former McLaren engineer as Phil Mackereth, who supposedly took with him to Renault three disks of detailed information about the Woking based team.

An FIA statement on Thursday said Renault chiefs would appear at the World Motor Sport Council in Monaco on December 6.

They will “answer a charge that between September 2006 and October 2007” the team had “unauthorised possession of documents and confidential information” belonging to McLaren including “the layout and critical dimensions” of the McLaren car.

Also in Renault’s unauthorised possession was “details of the McLaren fuelling system, gear assembly, oil cooling system, hydraulic control system and a novel suspension component used by the 2006 and 2007 McLaren F1 cars”, the FIA statement charged.

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