Charl Norman

McLaren may yet be banned, warns Mosley

F1’s espionage saga involving McLaren may not yet be over, Max Mosley has warned. Fearing infection by Ferrari secrets, the FIA president said inspectors will enter the team’s working factory before its 2008 car is allowed to race.

“They could be banned for 2008,” he clarified to the Daily Mirror. “If there is serious evidence the information has influenced the design, then we would have to look very seriously at their involvement in 2008. I hope that it won’t happen.”

In the World Motor Sport Council transcripts, McLaren boss Ron Dennis is quoted as urging Mosley to begin the inspections as soon as possible.

“I care only about the McLaren name,” he told Mosley, who chaired the hearings in which a record $100-million fine and expulsion from the constructors’ championship was imposed. Dennis added: “Once that inspection has been proven to be devoid of anything that could possibly be related to Ferrari intellectual property, I would like that in the public domain as quickly as possible.”

Mosley, however, this week dismissed theories that the spy scandal is the extension of a clash of personalities between himself and Dennis.

“I don’t hate Ron,” he told the Evening Standard. “We have disagreed [in the past], but that doesn’t mean there is personal animus.”