Salo backtracks after Ferrari spy charge

Mon, 30 July 2007, 11:54

Former Ferrari racer Mika Salo on the weekend back-paddled after suggesting that the Maranello based team has also been guilty of spying.

Following the World Motor Sport Council’s decision not to penalise McLaren for espionage, furious Ferrari chief Jean Todt accused the FIA of double-standards by saying “an exemplary punishment” would have been handed down if the Italian team had been in the dock.

But Salo, who in 1999 substituted for an injured Michael Schumacher for several races, told Finnish newspaper Ilta-Sanomat that Ferrari also regularly spied on McLaren.

“After every practice session I had in front of me, on paper, all the discussions Mika Hakkinen had had with his engineer,” he was quoted as saying.

After Salo’s remarks were widely circulated, Ferrari provided to the media a clarification, quoting 40-year-old Salo as now insisting that the Ilta-Sanomat article did “not match the thoughts I wanted to express”.

“I would like to make it clear that I was only referring to formula one in the late 90s, when radio technology was still at an almost amateurish level, which meant it could happen that some radio conversations could be listened to randomly because of interference,” he added.

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