Though McLaren's FIA hearing in Paris is over, the Stepneygate spying row is far from finished. And judging from Ferrari boss Jean Todt's subsequent 'Cold Light of Day' statement put out by Ferrari, the Italian marque are certainly not finished with it.
So why did the FIA find McLaren guilty yet fail to impose a sanction? The answer may lie back in the events of 1994.
For those yet to get their heads behind the row a brief summary. Long-time Ferrari employee, Englishman Nigel Stepney was passed over for promotion when his boss, Ross Brawn, the highly successful technical chief of Ferrari decided to go on a year's sabbatical. Stepney vented his frustrations in an Autosport interview early in 2007- something rarely heard in F1 (yet heard all the time in football).
Then news hit the press of a sabotage attempt within the Ferrari team involving a "strange white powder" that had been found near the cars prior to them being shipped off to Monaco. What has come to light subsequently is that McLaren chief designer Mike Coughlan was caught in possession of a 780-page technical dossier on the Ferrari 2007 car - believed to have been supplied by Stepney.
Though the majority of the information could only be applied to building a 2008 car from scratch, Ferrari allege that certain aspects of it, such as the brake balance system and knowledge of their movable floor device have assisted McLaren's championship challenge. The Maranello-based team had found a way of circumventing the flexible floor test - allowing it to move and become more aerodynamically efficient when put under load. It was an effective cheat on the principal behind the rules - i.e. it broke the rules but passed the test put in place to prevent moveable floors.
After a highly successful opening grand prix a suspicious McLaren asked the FIA for a clarification of the rules. The FIA realised that the test they used wasn't strenuous enough, and at the next grand prix all of a sudden Ferrari's car was significantly slower. Jean Todt maintains that the McLaren team were given a tip-off from their estranged employee in March and subsequently Mike Coughlan was handed the 780-page dossier in Spain.
These details would have remained hidden had it not been for the fact that Coughlan's wife took the dossier to a photo-copying shop in Woking and an eagle-eyed employee realised what was happening and contacted Ferrari.
An important element is that Nigel Stepney and Mike Coughlan had already approached embattled Honda boss Nick Fry with a view to working for the team in 2008. When Coughlan's name was put in the public domain in connection with the leaked dossier it took Fry two days to come forward and admit that he had talked to them both. Whereas before it had looked like a case of a disaffected Ferrari employee tring to help his rivals, now it looked like a new move for the pair of them.
McLaren's hearing in Paris this week has been to find out how much the team knew about Coughlan's possession of Ferrari technical data, when he had it, and if they have used that knowledge to their advantage. Mclaren have already invited the FIA to inspect their car and see if any of the technology from the 2007 Ferrari has been incorporated into their car.
Jean Todt believes that McLaren were given documents which allowed them to challenge the validity of his car in Melbourne - i.e. that they dishonestly obtained evidence against a dishonest device. Facing a World Motor Sport Council which rules across a number of motorsport disciplines it's difficult to understand why he thought this was a winning argument. Jean comes from a rallying background and will have known about the Toyota 1995 air restrictors, where the 1995 Toyota WRC team deliberately machined parts to give them an advantage but disguised that advantage so the cars passed scrutineering. They were thrown out of the 1995 championship and banned from racing in 1996. Had another team got that information from a Toyota mole there was no likely action going to be taken against them, such was the FIA anger at the subterfuge. So why was it going to change given the same FIA president?
Ferrari themselves have managed to get McLaren technical equipment banned thanks to other people's intervention. In 1997 Darren Heath's sensational photographs of the McLaren brake/steer device gave Ferrari the evidence they needed to have it banned (after it had been passed as legal by the FIA technical delegate). To get these he went on track to the retired McLaren of David Coulthard and stuck his camera into the footwell.
And Ferrari, it now turns out, are not above direct spying themselves. Former Ferrari driver Mika Salo told Finnish newspaper Ilta Sanomat: "When I was driving for Ferrari we always spied on McLaren, listening to their radio traffic. After every practice session I had in front of me, on paper, all the discussions Mika Hakkinen had had with his engineer."
Going into the FIA meeting a great many motorsport fans around the world knew some of the content of Mike Coughlan's sworn High Court affidavit. Coughlan is not what legal counsel would call an independent witness to the events, he's antagonistic. The minute he decided to team up with Nigel Stepney and go and speak to the Honda team about a job he revealed that - despite his senior position - he was not particularly happy at McLaren. The fact that he didn't dare take the 780-page dossier to work to have it photo-copied points to the fact that either McLaren had seen it and told him to get rid of it, or that they never saw it in the first place. (But probably the former).
Coughlan's evidence about McLaren has been undermined by his desire to go and work for somebody else, just as Stepeney's would have been if he revealed (or goes on to reveal) embarrassing secrets about Ferrari's past after his ominous quote to the Sunday Times; "I know where the bodies are buried."
Prior to the hearing and in advance of all the court action in England and Italy, there have been constant, almost daily leaks to the Italian press revealing details and allegations surrounding the story. The worst of these has been from Mike Coughlan's sworn affidavit to the High Court - the document should be highly confidential.
It seems that the desire to get the facts out into the public domain and put McLaren in a bad light has run ahead of the desire to individually punish the two men involved. Because now there must be a serious risk that Stepney and Coughlan canot get fair trials because of all the prior media coverage - details that should only have been revealed in court.
Max Mosley has never been someone to be steered into a decision. Countless officials at the European Union commission will attest to that. If the FIA have given McLaren an easy ride over 'Stepneygate' then the constant leaking of information to fuel the story will not have been to Ferrari's advantage. It appears that rather than keep quiet and prosecute the individuals concerned the Scuderia have been keen to publicise the case and embroil McLaren as much as they can. They have been active publicists of the affair, which has cast F1 in a bad light.
This is where 1994 comes in. At the end of Michael Schumacher's first World Championship season his Benetton car was found to have illegal traction control software on it. So what was that doing there? The logical process would have been to sling the team, the technical staff and the car out of F1. The FIA decided that they could not prove it had been used through the season - despite complex photographic evidence from the French GP - and hence team boss Flavio Briatore and tech director Ross Brawn were allowed to continue in F1. What the FIA didn't want in the year that Ayrton Senna was killed and there was an alleged deliberate accident, Schumi taking Damon Hill out of the final race in Adelaide, was more bad news.
So they said the case was not proven and left it at that. Had they applied the same argument as they did a year later to Toyota in the WRC, then who knows where we would have been.
It's interesting to hear Flavio Briatore play up to an Italian media and say he is baffled by the decision not to punish McLaren when they had been found guilty. Yet in 1994 his team was flagrantly guilty of a breach of the rules - it wasn't a matter of receiving unsolicited documents, the Benetton team conspired to break the rules. And nothing much happened then. So it's hard to know why he's so baffled. The neat irony of course is that both Nigel Stepney and Mike Coughlan worked together at Benetton.
McLaren have received a severe warning - a suspended sentence - and they'll have to be good boys for the rest of this season and a fair few to come. For Ferrari to say that their possession of Ferrari documents has helped McLaren substantially, is open to a very large debate.
The loss of Ferrari's handy rule bend/illegal car (depending on which viewpoint you come from) has made a difference, but by how much? The post-Melbourne press releases put out by teams who had to change their floors said the change would have very little effect. So were they all lying?
Whether Todt and Montezemolo are justified in calling for another team to have sanctions brought against them for receiving that tip-off remains to be seen. On past evidence Max Mosley doesn't react well to someone flying in the face of carefully considered FIA deliberations and there may well be further ructions to come. He doesn't take being called "dishonest" lightly.