Renault vow ‘transparency’ for spy probe

Fri, 9 November 2007, 11:20

Renault has vowed to act “with complete transparency” after the FIA announced that the French team is under investigation for spying on McLaren.

Amid accusations that Renault possessed detailed information about its Woking based rival’s single seaters and systems, one spokeswoman for the 2005 and 2006 world champions said “for legal reasons” she could not comment.

A Renault spokesman added: “Ever since this matter came to light we have acted with complete transparency towards McLaren and the FIA and we will continue to do so.”

At the height of the Ferrari versus McLaren espionage saga this year, it emerged that McLaren had evidence that Renault could also be implicated in a separate case of spying.

Media reports identified former McLaren engineer Phil Mackereth as having taken to Renault three disks of detailed information about the Ron Dennis-led team.

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

Renault recently granted McLaren access to its computer systems in order to internally investigate the accusations.

One insider told The Independent newspaper: “The amount and depth of the information (found at Renault) makes ‘Stepneygate’ look like a walk in the park.”

Aside from the hefty penalties that the Flavio Briatore-led outfit could face, the issue might also blight Renault’s efforts to return Fernando Alonso to the team in 2008.

The FIA will also be under intense pressure to be even-handed, after the Stepney-gate case was interpreted by some as an anti-McLaren ‘witch-hunt’.

Meanwhile, The Daily Telegraph observed: “Renault’s participation in F1 is under constant review and could even be threatened by a crippling fine”.

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