Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

McLaren asked to correct factual errors // A misleading press release raises eyebrows at the FIA

Published by Mr. C

Recently I've been accused of displaying some negative bias when it comes to the subject of McLaren. The thing is, they make it so damn easy to dislike them, it's hard not to let some of that spill out onto the virtual page. That brings me onto today's discussion.

You may remember that last month I chastised McLaren for blatant hypocrisy when they started leaking selective documents to the media. Well unbelievably, it turns out that the document was little more than a tissue of lies, and now the FIA have requested McLaren correct all of the inaccuracies. Bless 'em.

The team have dutifully issued a press release - which at least is a step up from leaking documents to a select few. I encourage you to read it in full on their site, but if you're short on time, here are the salient points:

  • McLaren had implied 18 Renault employees viewed confidential information, but in fact only 9 have admitted viewing and discussing confidential information.
  • McLaren stated that information was uploaded to 11 Renault computers, but in fact it was only available on 1 server.
  • McLaren claimed that eleven computer disks contained 780 individual drawings, but in fact the disks only contained 18 individual technical drawings.
  • McLaren clarify that "the entire technical blueprint of the 2006 and 2007 McLaren car", actually meant "a technical definition of the fundamental layout of the 2007 McLaren car".

Clearly none of the above completely exonerates Renault from any wrongdoing, and I won't pretend that it does. But without doubt many legal and moral boundaries were crossed with the release of the original document, and I'm sure McLaren's troubles are only just beginning. Whether Flavio or Max will choose to pursue this any further remains to be seen.

I do, however, stand by my opinion that, for many reasons, 2007 has shown McLaren (and those who define its policies and politics), to work within very loose definitions of the words honesty and integrity.

I feel I could go on about this, but the team's actions already speak volumes.

Update: According to The Daily Express, Flavio responded to the last minute 'corrections' with the following statement:

A lot of very bad things have been said about us by McLaren in the last few weeks, very damaging.

We will be cleared and once the verdict is announced we will consider legal action. Our reputation has been defamed.

The appeal will be heard later today in Monaco. I'm sure Flavio will have more to say once it's over.