Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

The FIA transcripts (Part 1) - Our first reactions to the McLaren hearing documents

Published by Mr. C

The two of us have been reading through the WMSC transcripts kindly posted on the FIA's website today. Thus far we've covered the first document which details the hearing in Paris on the 26th July, 2007.

Here are a couple of thoughts to be going on with, until we pluck up the courage to tackle the second one.

On Max Mosley

During this first meeting, Mosley seems incredibly clued up on details that wouldn't actually come to light until almost two months later. He managed this even though there wasn't any evidence at the time would have led him to those conclusions. The following comments in particular are interesting:

For example, for someone moving from Michelin tires to Bridgestone tires, it might have been useful to know the Ferrari weight distribution.


At the time you entered the gentleman's agreement, you were receiving a flow of information.

The second statement is denied by Ron Dennis, but we now know from Pedro de la Rosa's email exchange that both of the above assumptions to be correct. Information that only came to light after Alonso's threat to Ron in Hungary, eleven days later.

I also found the interaction between Mosley and Ferrari's lawyer Dr. Henry Peter somewhat rehearsed, for example:

Dr. Henry Peter

I just want to discuss the brake system issue. The newspapers and the chronology show that this is a very relevant issue. Ferrari's brake system, presented here as being of no interest in that it goes back to the old days of Ferrari’s FDD subsidiary in England, ten years ago. Mr Almondo can confirm this, if needed, but as everybody knows, the brake systems are entirely different today.

Max Mosley

Are you disputing the evidence that the brake system shown by Coughlan to Taylor was, for all practical purposes, the same hydraulic brake system that he played a part in designing ten years previously?

Was he disputing that Max? I wouldn't have inferred that, except that was exactly what Dr. Henry Peter was saying. And so it goes on. Maybe it's a lawyer thing?

Again note, this information turns out to be a surprisingly accurate account of facts that hadn't come to light yet. Although in Luigi Macaluso's letter to Max following this hearing, he does allude to the fact that Ferrari felt they hadn't had chance to voice all of their findings.

Maybe more information would have come out during the appeal (assuming Alonso hadn't fallen out with Ron in the meantime).

Ron Dennis

It's interesting to note that McLaren's lawyers were incredibly wary of falling into a trap, even to the point of fearing that viewing Ferrari evidence the FIA had circulated could hold them culpable. When questioned about the details of certain supplied information, the response was:

We asked whether it had been included accidentally, and were told that it was intentionally included. I did not see any express statement that Ferrari had given its permission for that information to be disclosed to McLaren

Nothing like not trusting the sports governing body is there?

Of further interest Ron suggests that 780 pages isn't that much information on a Formula 1 car when he says:

Any F1 car falls between 10,000 and 12,000 drawings.

Until I heard this, everything conveyed to the media by both Ferrari and the FIA led me to think a 780 page document was enough to build your own car from scratch. Of course this supposition may not have been intentional, I may just be a bit dense.

Ron's competitive streak runs so deep that he was prepared to suggest Ferrari's forensic team Quest were poorer than McLaren's chosen Kroll, when Ferrari suggested that the checking of Coughlan's PC was not yet complete Ron retorted:

I would like to point out that Kroll carried out the investigation within a period of six days.

While we're on the subject, you do have to ask how Kroll missed the Coughlan / de la Rosa emails when they apparently checked over 50,000 emails on Mike's machine? Although, Ron does say later on that they were specifically asked to check only for incoming traffic. At the time this would have appeared to be a sensible choice, but history has proven this to have been a somewhat shortsighted descision!

And finally

I liked Max's reference to the FIA being know as "Ferrari International Aid", so at least he's getting that message!

We have to ask... does this new found transparency set a precedent for all FIA hearing's or only those that McLaren lose? Just curious.