Renault pleased; McLaren seeking closure

Flavio Briatore has said that his team have welcomed the FIA decision not to punish them over espionage charges. The meeting of the World Motor Sport Council yesterday saw the council decide that Renault had breached regulations however there was no proof they gained any advantage from the information, therefore the team escaped punishment.

“I would like to thank Renault, our title sponsor ING and all our partners for their wholehearted support during this sensitive period,” Briatore said in a statement. “I also wish to pay tribute to the team, which has handled the matter with integrity and dignity. We are pleased that we can now focus fully on our preparations for the 2008 championship.”

The FIA s decision mirrors the decision they originally made in the McLaren spy case a decision which left Briatore puzzled at the time. “I don t understand what happened,” he said in July. “To begin with, you would only gather the World Council if you had proof. Otherwise, if you don t have proof, you avoid such a meeting.

“So I don t understand what happened if the FIA admits to have established possession of Ferrari information by McLaren then why is there no comeback? This verdict reminds me of Pontius Pilate.”

Meanwhile McLaren are hoping that their spying nightmare will be over today McLaren face an FIA hearing where they will discover if the FIA found any Ferrari ideas on their 2008 Formula One car.

“I know the 2008 car doesn t have any foreign intellectual property in it,” McLaren CEO Martin Whitmarsh said. “Therefore, I think we have got to let the WMSC and FIA finish its investigations. I think we will come out of this shortly and will be able to put all of this behind us and that s good for the sport. It s the right and appropriate outcome and we ll move on.”