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> Mclaren Is Fined; Took Data From Rival
post Sep 14 2007, 08:43 PM
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SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium, Sept. 13 — McLaren Mercedes, the leading team in the Formula One championship, was fined $100 million Thursday and excluded from the constructorĘs title in connection with the spying scandal that has plagued the sport all season.

The International Automobile Federation, the sportĘs governing body, found McLaren guilty of cheating by using data obtained from Ferrari, its main rival, to improve its own car, the federation said in a statement issued following a hearing in Paris.

The team may continue to race, however, and its drivers — Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso, who lead the points standings — will be allowed to keep their points and remain eligible for the driversĘ title.

It was the harshest punishment given to a team in the 57-year history of the sport.

The federation, known as F.I.A., said it had stripped McLaren of all its constructorĘs points in the Formula One world championship, and the team can score no points for the remainder of the season.

F.I.A. added that the team would not share in the sportĘs revenue this season, either.

F.I.A. will explain its reasons for making the decision Friday. McLaren can then decide whether to appeal.

It was the first time in the sportĘs history that the leading team in the championship had been excluded. Should another team fail by the end of the season to score more points than McLaren currently has, there would be no constructorĘs title winner.

As the teams gathered here for the Belgian Grand Prix this weekend, McLaren led the series, and Ferrari, by 23 points. A team may accumulate a maximum 18 points for finishing first and second place in a race. With four races left — including this weekendĘs in Belgium — Ferrari is almost certain to earn enough points for the title.

Ferrari issued a statement saying that it was “satisfied that the truth has now emerged.”

For its part, McLaren continued to claim that it had gained no competitive advantage from the Ferrari data. Ron Dennis, the director and part owner of McLaren, said, “Having been at the hearing today, I do not accept that we deserved to be penalized in this way.”

He said McLarenĘs engineering team of more than 140 people testified that “they had never received or used the Ferrari information.”

The spying scandal broke in early July, when Ferrari accused McLaren of using data given by a Ferrari employee to a McLaren employee to improve the quality of its racing car. The police had found documents regarding the Ferrari car at the home of Mike Coughlan, McLarenĘs technical director, in England. Ferrari said it thought its former employee, Nigel Stepney, who had been frustrated by organizational changes at Ferrari this season, had provided the information to Coughlan.

At a hearing on July 26, F.I.A. found McLaren guilty of possessing the data, but it did not punish the team because it could not prove that the team had used the information to improve its car.

F.I.A. said, however, that if new evidence appeared to show that the data had been used “to the detriment of the championship,” then McLaren could be thrown out of the series this season and also in 2008.

There have been other constructorsĘ penalties over the years. The Tyrrell team was removed in 1984 for various technical infringements, but it was not a leading team. The Benetton team was suspended from two races in 1994 after its driver, Michael Schumacher, ignored a black flag requiring him to quit a race. In 2005, the BAR Honda team was disqualified from one race and banned from two others for using an illegal fuel tank.

Although the decision Thursday ended McLarenĘs efforts to win its ninth constructorsĘ title, it spared the biggest story of the season: the battle between the McLaren drivers. Hamilton, a rookie, has led most of the season, with Alonso, the two-time defending champion, right behind.

The McLaren team was founded by Bruce McLaren, a driver who died in a racing accident in 1970. It won its first team title in 1974. It has won seven more since, but none since 1998. It also won its first driversĘ title in 1974. It has won 10 more since, the last in 1999.

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post Sep 18 2007, 10:43 AM
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Where the hell is nate he goes for McLaren ?

Nate is this what champions do , steal data from another team laugh.gif

100 Million dollars is a big price to pay i must admit.

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post Sep 18 2007, 11:42 AM
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hehe, Nates heroes...

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Don't reach for the stars..... You'll just look like an idiot stretching for no reason
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forbidden fruit
post Sep 18 2007, 12:03 PM
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ferrari killed mclaren with a 1,2 finish on sunday

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[center]If LiFeS a WaStE oF tImE tHeN tImEs A wAsTe Of LiFe So LeTs GeT WASTED aNd HaVe ThE tImE oF oUr LiFe!!!
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