Originally Posted by Astin
There must be more to it than this...
On this evidence does it make sense to penalise the team and then allow immunity to the drivers? Just like in Hungary - why were the team penalised AS WELL as the drivers? So Alonso has been shown to be involved directly. And yet he escapes any penalty - this is curious to say the least.
I agree there must be more to this than has been disclosed by Max and the FIA, as well as Stepney and Coughlan. In fact, until the motives of Stepney and Coughlan are determined, I think any actions of significance taken by FIA are premature. Is there any evidence the competition between Ferrari and McLaren has been compromised by these guys? The first hearing suggested the 780 pages of Ferrari information, while interesting in the way of getting a look at a pretty girl's panties while she is wearing them always is, was of no real consequence. The latter hearing suggests there were phone calls and emails between the two on a regular basis and these communications may have been of greater interest to Team McLaren, yet the evidence suggests the audience for these communications was limited to Alonso, de la Rosa and Coughlan, who in each case were actually unable to incorporate any of the information into the car or its set up.
Much ado about nothing, a lot of drama, and very characteristic of FIA and Max Mosely.
I think Max screwed himself by agreeing to hear enough squealing from Ferrari to feel compelled to reopen the hearing to address these emails. To get them he had to grant Alonso, Hamilton and de la Rosa immunity. In the end, even though Max wanted to nail Ron Dennis, the evidence he got only implicated the drivers and Coughlan. He was left holding the bag. So he invented the solution - condemn the McLaren Team with a case based on little more than his opinion that the problem went further than the evidence shows. I think actions like these are detrimental to the integrity of the FIA, and, by the rules Max should be thrown out as his management style is bringing bad publicity and questioning the integrity of the FIA as a whole.
The extent of the phone calls between teams technical staff members, and emails and conversations in private, are all now suspect. In fact, they have all been going on since the start of the sport. These people live this sport 24 hours a day, all year long. There are relatively few people they can have an interesting conversation with, or befriend. So leaking is a condition of the environment, kind of like having to race in crappy weather.
I saw no attempt to determine if the leak was a two way affair or just a single direction, Ferrari to McLaren event. I saw no attempt to understand why Stepney did it, and why Coughlan accepted the information, although that is easier to make a rational argument about than Stepney's leaking it in the first place. Until Stepney and Coughlan reveal why they did what they did, and the scope of what they did, I think the FIA needs to bottle up their emotional responses.
It seems highly unlikely to me that Coughlan was not trading information with a more desperate, fading Ferrari team. The premise that all good technical information is given birth at Ferrari is imbedded in this whole affair, and that is just not the case. Jim