View Full Version : Sport McLaren fines

20th September 2007, 14:02
What is everyone's thoughts on the fines McLaren have been given so far this year?

Do you think the rulings were fair? Too harsh, or not strong enough?

Should the drivers have been punished as well as the team? After all, they did know about the leaked Ferrari data as their personal emails confirmed.

And can McLaren recover from this? I know they are a large organisation, but every company has a budget and a profit line. The fines this year, if you include everything, will eventually total close to 210 Million (50 Million for Alonso's blocking of Hamilton, 100 Million for Stealing secrets from Ferrari, and they will lose an additional estimated 60 Million next year due to lost revenue from the lose of this seasons constructors points).

Plus what will happen with the drivers wages next year? They are worked out based on constructors points from the previous season. But now they have none! Will they base it on the points they would have received?

Personally I think this whole series of events has ruined many aspects of this years championship. Ferrari have now been awarded the constructors championship this year, but it is a hollow victory with the main direct competition removed from the running. And the achievements of Hamilton are now questionable based on what we now know, as it generates many questions about how real his achievements have actually been this year. Without knowing the Ferrari secrets would he have been on the podium as much as he has been? Would he be leading the drivers championship?

I personally think that it was wrong not to punish the drivers. The speculation for not is because the FIA wanted to keep the championship alive. Removing the drivers points would have removed the fight for the championship and left it to be battled out between the Ferrari drivers, but if a McLaren driver goes on to win this drivers championship will it have been fair? Without all of the evidence and facts we have no way of knowing for sure. Personally I think all of this has ruined this years season which was shaping up to be the best one for many years.

20th September 2007, 14:18
This was a complicated task for FIA.
In general i agree with the punnishment, but:
- They should be less finned with the case of 1 driver blocker the other. It was inside the team, not with a outside driver.
- Pilots should be penalised for the spy but, how much?

How much 0,xxx seconds per lap do McLaren gain with the spy over Ferrari ?
It's very difficult to say. Loosing all point if is proved that they spyed, that' ok.
But drivers, should also loose points... but how many? 10? 20? 30?

I think they dont remove the drivers points so that the rest of world championship have a litle of interest.... that's to many money involved with transmitions on tv... sponsors ... etc...

20th September 2007, 14:36
You've misunderstood their fine a little bit Harrison.

It's $100million less the prize money that FOM would have paid them for either 1st or 2nd in the championship if they'd kept their points. (That is prize money will be paid out pretending McLaren haven't been DSQ'd)

The McLaren car is actually free from Ferrari components - a component would not work well if it wasn't all designed to work with all the other bits. The main gain from the data appears to have been strategies and set-ups, and also they were able to see Ferrari were using a component that was against the regulations at the start of the season.

This is also one reason the drivers were allowed to be let off - the car itself they are driving doesn't have any Ferrari components on it. The main reason however was that they were offered immunity if they provided information which they did. Offering immunity and then throwing them out would have meant no driver would ever again volunteer information when asked by the FIA.

The stealing aspect is overemphasized by Ferrari IMO. It was one of their top staff members that was providing a McLaren engineer with all the information. They say McLaren should have had more control over their staff to prevent this happening, the same could be said for Ferrari as well.

In the end, the punishment is realistically the only one that could have been issued. It's flawed but in the circumstances, there was no alternative.

20th September 2007, 15:16
I know that didn't include Ferrari designed components within this years McLaren, but having the information would have allowed them to develop their own components knowing what they were up against. Therefore a very unfair advantage.

9th December 2007, 13:47
As an interesting aside to the spygate thing, the FIA are now going to sue The Times newspaper for libel following an article written by Martin Brundle criticising their handling of the spygate affair.

Brundle seems to think as a result, he may not get press accreditation for next season. Personally, I think Brundle is one of the few good aspects of ITV's F1 coverage and if he wasn't there next season I dread to think how bad it would be. Actually it would be like Hungary this year, where James Allen and Damon Hill spent most of their time mis-identifying cars.

You can read his reaction in full here (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/formula_1/article3021312.ece)

9th December 2007, 20:02
What about Renault getting away scott free, for the same breach? :mad:

That takes the biscuit!

10th December 2007, 09:43
Thats because Renault were no threat to Ferrari and the season had finished. My biggest problem is McClaren have a car that they won't know is legal until February. Which means if it is ruled illegal they will have to design and build a new car in a couple of months.

10th December 2007, 13:10
I've never been a fan of McLaren (mainly because they have always been the arch rival to Ferrari), but to cripple them this late into the development of next year's car could put them at the back of the grid and make the 2008 series a one prancing horse race! And that is something I don't want to see.

The most interesting and significant quote from Martin's column is:

"...very few drivers or key team personnel in F1 can look you in the eye and honestly say they have never witnessed or been part of a transfer of information between teams. The purpose of poaching other team players is to fast-track the development and performance of the car. It’s a question of where the line is drawn about transfer of knowledge and intellectual property."

And this is something we all know has always happened. Why else would a team want a designer or mechanic from a different team to join them? Experience and knowledge go a long way to quickly improving a team and car. Look at Honda appointing Ross Brawn as their new team principal.

The FIA are just getting too big for their own boots. Why wasn't Renault punished recently? Easy, they were not in the running for any important points scoring position in 2007 so were insignificant. McLaren on the other hand seem to be an unhealthy obsession of Max Mosley, a guy I've never been able to stand!

10th December 2007, 16:28
Here's an interesting bit I missed first time round like

"Or they will write to ITV again to say that my commentary is not up to standard despite my unprecedented six Royal Television Society Awards for sports broadcasting."

So the FIA have previously asked for him to be sacked! Looks like Max has got a personal grudge against the guy.

Anyway, I hope the FIA do go all the way to court with this. It would be funny to see them try fighting a libel case against News Corp. who as well as probably having the best libel lawyers in the world, also own F1 broadcast rights to half the world through Star Sports, Speed Channel, Fox Sports etc. Oh and they'll be fighting it in a court where they don't make the rules, under oath. Some interesting stuff (and perhaps the full truth) could come out of it.

10th December 2007, 16:44
I also noticed that little bit of information he managed to sneak in there.

I couldn't see any such action holding much water in a trial. The press have freedom of speech, plus last time I looked we lived on the UK, not a communist or Muslim run state.

I was also wondering something else. The FIA conduct all of their business in France. So did it really come as a surprise that Renault were let of without any fines or punishment?

10th December 2007, 17:29
I couldn't see any such action holding much water in a trial. The press have freedom of speech, plus last time I looked we lived on the UK, not a communist or Muslim run state.

Freedom of speech to an extent. We still have amongst the strictest libel laws in the world and you can't describe someone/something factually in a derogatory way. It depends if the court would see it as Martin's opinion or Martin stating it as a fact.