It is apparently the largest sporting penalty ever handed down against a team. 100 million dollars!
I don’t care if it is McLaren, that’s a big chunk of change and it’s gotta hurt.
For those who haven’t been following things, let’s condense it a bit. Disgruntled, ex Ferrari engineer, Nigel Stepney provided now suspended McLaren chief designer Mike Coughlan with a 780 page document. Call it “How to build a Ferrari F1 car”. Mister Mike claimed he didn’t use any of the info, but eventually it came out that he had passed some key info on to test driver Pedro De La Rosa. Pedro in turn shot those little secret gems to reigning World Champion Fernando Alonso. De La Rosa and Alonso have received impunity for their cooperation, but there doesn’t seem to be any info on what will happen to Stepney and Coughlan. Suffice it to say that Mr. Dennis is not impressed.
Isn’t international sporting espionage wonderful? Even still, something doesn’t seem to add up. This isn’t the first time a racing team has spied on another, nor will it be the last. There has to be something other than pit strategies and tire inflation.
The BBC provided the following quote from Sir Jackie Stewart:
“All I can say, without being in full command of all of the information, is that the offence must be considerably larger than has been projected either by the governing body of the sport or within the media,” he told BBC Radio 5live.
“This isn’t murder that has been carried out, this is something that has happened before and there wasn’t even a fine or disciplinary action taken by the same governing body.
“There is something very strange going on, there is no doubt about that.
“From what information we have been given so far, this does not constitute a penalty of this scale with regards to the crime that has been carried out.
“And even if they were found guilty of that particular crime, it doesn’t justify this kind of penalty.”
Time will tell.