The president of the FIA, Max Mosley, made public a letter he sent to the three McLaren drivers who may be caught up in the Stepneygate scandal. Ferrari recently announced that they have discovered new evidence believed to be emails between McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa and reigning world champion Fernando Alonso. The FIA has requested the drivers to submit any documents that may be related to the case so it can make an informed decision on the issue when it meets later in the month.
Despite Alonso’s victory last week at the Italian Grand Prix, all is not rosy for the Spaniard. McLaren and their world-champion driver can face a ban up to two years from F1 racing. Below is a copy of what was sent to each driver, which can be found on the FIA website.
Dear Mr De la Rosa
As you will be aware, the FIA has recently investigated whether, how and to what extent McLaren was in possession of confidential Ferrari technical information. The FIA has subsequently been made aware of an allegation that one or more McLaren drivers may be in possession, or that such drivers have recently been in possession, of written evidence relevant to this investigation.
In the interests of the sport and the championship, it is important that the FIA as the regulator establishes unequivocally and rapidly whether or not this allegation has any basis in fact.
The FIA therefore formally requests that you produce copies of any relevant documents which may be in your possession or power of procurement and which may be relevant to this case. For these purposes “documents” includes all written materials such as emails, letters, electronic communications, text messages, notes, memoranda, drawings, diagrams, data or other material, stored in any physical, “hard copy” or electronic form.
In particular (though without limiting the generality of this request), the FIA wishes to receive copies of any electronic communications (howsoever conveyed or stored) which may be relevant to this case and which make reference to Ferrari, Nigel Stepney or any technical or other information coming from or connected with either Ferrari or Mr Stepney. In the event that you are aware of the existence or previous existence of any document falling within the above description but are not in a position to produce it, please describe the content of the document in question, the circumstances under which it came to your knowledge and the reasons why you are unable to produce it. In the event that you are unsure as to whether any document falls within the above description, kindly submit it (or a description of it) and the FIA will assist in making a determination.
You will appreciate that there is a duty on all competitors and Super Licence holders to ensure the fairness and legitimacy of the Formula One World Championship. It is therefore imperative that if you do have any such information, you make it available to us without delay. I can confirm, given the importance of this issue, that any information you may make available in response to this letter will not result in any proceedings against you under the International Sporting Code or the Formula One regulations. However, in the event that it later comes to light that you have withheld any potentially relevant information, serious consequences could follow.
We are sending identical letters to Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton. We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience. Thank you very much for your cooperation.