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Radio traffic - Reacting to claims from Ron Dennis regarding team radio hacking

Published by Mr. C

This morning I was reading about Mika Salo and his Ferrari radio spying claims, and as I did so, the penny dropped.

Back in 1998 there was a big kerfuffle during the Australian GP when the race leader Häkkinen made an unscheduled stop and lost the lead to teammate Coulthard. DC was later asked to relinquish the lead and Mika went on to win the race.

For many years it was assumed that either the team or the driver had made a mistake. That was until this year when Ron Dennis offered some clarification on the matter. Post Monaco, McLaren were accused of fixing the race result and Ron responded with the following quote:

And we do not, and have not, manipulated Grands Prix, unless there were some exceptional circumstances, which occurred, for example, in Australia, when at that time someone had tapped into our radio and instructed Mika Häkkinen to enter the pits.

- Ron Dennis

At the time it seemed as though, pressured into responding to media criticism, Ron was forced into divulging this additional bit of information. Today however, I'm thinking about at this a little differently. For example:

  1. Has Mr. Dennis recently acquired new information to back up his accusation?
  2. Is this new information related to the movable floor revelations?
  3. And if the above are correct, who said what to whom and when?

The timing of Mr. Dennis' remarks are uncanny to say the least.