Friday, September 14, 2007

Formula One Spygate

By John Ross Harvey

A few years ago
Toyota was caught with detailed documents
On Ferrari’s formula one car
I believe the suspect was fired, and fined
Toyota was not punished in any way
Toyota was very far behind Ferrari
This year
McLaren was caught with detailed documents
On Ferrari’s formula one car
McLaren are ahead of Ferrari
Yesterday’s hearing has them losing all constructor points
So if you spy, but are still slower
Ferrari doesn’t care
But if you spy, and are faster
Ferrari insist you lose your points
As for the legality and conduct of spying
That has been a regular part of formula one since the beginning
Tire warmers are just as much a cover-up as a tarp on the chassis
Spying has always been part of the game
You spy well, you improve, and it was worth it
You spy poorly, and make no gains, it wasn’t
Keep in mind a Ferrari man had to have handed over the documents
They are equally at fault
Yet they are not punished
Very much like the Canada-US Border dispute
USA blames Canada for letting terrorists in their country
Yet we do not operate their border
Ferrari blame McLaren for the possession of documents
Claiming they are the sole perpetrators
But someone at Ferrari MUST have delivered them
So WHY don’t they lose points?
Because the FIA means
Ferrari’s Invisible Assistants


Anonymous said...

John I will have to disgree with what you have written.

First off there is a big difference from the normal spying that goes on in F1 and other non parity based motorsports, to what has transpired in this situation.

Every team analyzes photos taken from trackside, even analyze engine sounds but these are all taken in a public domain. The cars are clearly visiable/audible.

What has occured here is McLaren have received documents from a disgruntled Ferrari employee and have studied these documents such as weight distribution, gas in the tires etc. Not once during this exchange did any of the involved McLaren employees try to stop this occuring ,which they would have known was well outside the bounds of legality. Ron Dennis's original stance was that Mike Coughlan was the only person to view the information from these documents. But from the hearing it is clearly been deceminated through the McLaren organisation including the drivers De La Rosa and Alonso.

The hearing found that the statments given by De La Rosa and Alonso were filled with half truths and adjudicated accordingly.

However these half truths have obviously ommitted pointing partial responcibility to the key McLaren development teams that obviously had to have a say in some of De La Rosa's alleged decisions.

Also to consider in this mess is The Spanish FIA officals statement prior to the hearing.

"Joaquin Verdegay, a regular FIA steward who occasionally steps in for Spanish motor sport chief Carlos Gracia in Council hearings, answered "no" when he was asked if Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton should have points docked or be kicked out of the 2007 season.

"The drivers have not caused the movement of information from Ferrari nor received it," he said on Spanish radio Cadena SER

He added: "These gentlemen limit themselves to driving their cars; if the (team) technicians involve themselves in improper activities, then this is a problem solely of the technicians."


"Carlos Gracia, meanwhile - who will actually vote on Thursday - vowed to defend Spaniards Alonso and Pedro de la Rosa, for example by lodging an appeal on their behalf if they are personally punished by the FIA.

"If Fernando or Pedro consider that the decision affects them in some way, of course we will unconditionally support them and defend their rights."

The "FIA-Ferrari’s Invisible Assistants" drum has been worn out a long time ago. When clearly voting had been decided upon prior to hearing of the new damning evidence. The decision Not to wipe out the WDC points was clearly i financial motivated decision by the FIA for the FIA that needed to have something to keep viewers turning on thier TV's for the remaining races.

Matt Simons

John Ross Harvey said...

I will also state this opinion was based on newspaper reports which do not go into the specifics of the Alonso-DeLaRosa email exchange, merely stating that Couglin was in possession and likely got it from Stepney.
The issue is both teams are involved, why should only one suffer. Proof they used the info, perhaps. Does the McLaren resemble a Ferrari in any way? No.
I'm not saying what transpired may not have given McLaren an advantage if they had used it, but Ferrari's security measures are obviously lacking, in order to come into posssession of it.
Side stories indicate Ron Dennis enlightened the FIA of the possession thereby supporting his insistance that he has been honest.
Some say to undermine Alonso, as he is said to have used the info as a threat. Clearly there is more at play here, and likely more info yet to be revealed. Innocent until proven guilty, and from what I've read on the web, in papers, and from discusssion, that proof has yet to surface. Ferrari may have sent Stepney, we only have their word that they did not. Much like we only have Dennis' word that he did not use it. As I trust Todt and company about as far as I can swallow spit, I'm more inclined to believe Dennis than them.