Max Mosley gets his pound of flesh

The “confession” by McLaren yesterday looks rather damning on the face of it. But it is well known that to stop getting punished you have to confess, even if you didn’t do it. When you read between the lines, McLaren have actually confessed to very little.

In terms of “copied” Ferrari information, the smoking gun is there — but for stuff that everyone had access to. So the 2008 McLaren has a longer wheelbase? Big deal — it wasn’t exactly top secret that the F2007 had a long wheelbase. It was well known long before the start of last season.

And reading between the lines, it looks as though McLaren’s new braking system employs the famous double-rear master cylinder with spring — information that the FIA leaked!

What is really telling about all of this is the way the two branches of FIArrari (the racing team that masquerades as the FIA and the governing body that calls itself Ferrari) have reacted to this — in complete tandem, would you believe! You couldn’t make it up.

Every single movement by Max Mosley, the FIA and the World Motor Sport Council on this Stepneygate scandal since June has been calculated to maximise the embarrassment of the McLaren team as an organisation and Ron Dennis as an individual.

The first WMSC meeting stuck the knife in. Then in September Mosley inserted it further. Last week he gave the knife a jolly good twist when it was revealed at the last minute that they weren’t going to clear the McLaren car until February. They had said they were going to judge on it last week. “Just kidding Ron! We’re going to make you suffer for a few months yet.”

By then, it had become obvious what game the maFIA was playing at all along. There was no way McLaren could risk waiting until just a few weeks before the start of the season to find out if their car would be given the all-clear — particularly given the FIA’s hostile attitude towards the McLaren team. There was every chance that the car would not have been cleared, McLaren would have been thrown out of the Championship.

In the end, McLaren were faced with no choice but to fall on their own sword rather than go through Max Mosley’s bizarre torture methods. The fact that the FIA have now offered to close the matter as a result of this apology speaks volumes. The FIA and Ferrari were not interested in justice one iota. If they were, they would not seek to close the matter just because McLaren said sorry. They would continue to investigate the car and meet in February as promised.

Rather, the FIA and Ferrari’s main goal was to embarrass McLaren in the most public, torturous, long-winded way possible. Having now maximised that embarrassment, they have decided they have had enough of their games and are now “graciously” offering closure.



  1. Can the teams rally together and put forward a legal ‘no confidence’ proposal the the FIA and the governing members? Especially given their unbalanced non-punishment of Renault compared to McLaren.

    Seems unlikely but the FIA have really stepped over their bounds this year and very almost ruined the F1 season.

    I still say, “let the teams do whatever espionage they want – and counter it however they can”

  2. You summed it up perfectly with that one word: pathetic.

    I hope Ferrari enjoy their phyrric victory of 2007 in the constructors & drivers championships, and that McLaren rise above this annus horibilis to beat them on track next year – which is where it really counts.

  3. I do agree. This is pathetic. Why to close the case?. And how a rules book can have an article, that you can wrench and no penalty ( even if it is only a fine) is applied. This is a big circus conducted by multibillioners to increase their own fortunes, and the rule, the real one, is Ferrari will win and from time to time our friends will also do. Please be patient and wait for your turn.

  4. F1’s governing body sorely needs a blood transfusion. Its President is rotten to the core and this rot has permiated to other parts of the body. The powerless fans are crying out for the sport to be managed in a fair and equitable manner, thus the teams need to clean their governing body or the sport will go to the dogs. Dementia Mosley embarked on a witch hunt against Ron Dennis and tried his darndest to destroy McLaren, soley because they are better than Ferrari. Ferrari only won both championships this year off the track, but would have never managed this without their man Mad Max Mosley. F1 does not mean a damm to Max, but its dosh does and by golly how.

  5. Mclaren was caught cheating REDHANDEDLY. It’s like Schumacher was caught crashing into Villenuvue. Time to stop spinning it out onto Mosley’s or Bernie’s secret agenda or whatever conspiracy, dude.

  6. Hmm! Funny that, because I seem to remember Michael Schumacher got a cop-out non-punishment from the FIA for crashing into Villeneuve. If McLaren were caught cheating in the same way as Schumacher, then it’s a clear case of the FIA’s double standards.

  7. Please read the December 2007 report which led to the McLaren confession (published on the FIA website and elsewhere on the web). It details internal McLaren emails that show two senior McLaren engineers conferred about “our mole” in Ferrari and that instructions were given by senior McLaren management not to fit a Ferrari device “until the FIA agro is finished”. In the end, McLaren were bang to rights and to try to pretend otherwise is ludicrous. Even McLaren gave up when confronted with that evidence. OK so you hate Max, but you must get real and admit he was right all along.

  8. Righto. So why didn’t Max Mosley pursue Renault so obsessively? They were not given anything like the months-long fine-tooth-comb treatment that McLaren were subjected to and escaped without even a slap on the wrists.