Bernie Ecclestone: “McLaren could start 2008 season with points penalty” 

Written by David on November 28th, 2007 at 4:56 pmLast Update: November 28th, 2007 at 4:56 pm

Bernie Ecclestone Indian Grand PrixFOM, Formula One Administration boss Bernie Ecclestone said that if McLaren’s 2008 car is found to be based on information stolen from Ferrari, McLaren-Mercedes could face a points penalty for next season championship. In an interview with Auto Motor und Sport, Ecclestone said on an hypothetical point deduction: “I hope not, but it could happen”.

McLaren were stripped of all their constructors’ points this season and fined $100 million for possessing technical information from Ferrari.

Earlier this month, a new spy case hit Formula One  when 2006 champions Renault were charged with unauthorized possession of McLaren information. Representatives of the French team have been summoned to a hearing of the governing International Automobile Federation (FIA)’s World Motor Sport Council in Monaco on December 6, 2007.

“I do not know the extent of what they have done and what they have not done,” said Ecclestone. “I think the difference between them and McLaren is that McLaren were getting information over time from a person, rather than somebody has stolen a lot of drawings in one go.”

Ecclestone said the FIA should have kept out of the controversy. “I did tell Ron Dennis, when the whole mess started, to report to the police that there was a case of theft. Tell them that there is an employee in the house who is receiving or purchasing stolen property. If it was dealt in that way, we would not have had the problems we faced this year,” he added. “It should be a matter for the police and the court. They have much better tools to find out the truth.”

During the interview, Ecclestone also suggested time was up for Ralf Schumacher and Giancarlo Fisichella. “Both have been for quite a time in decent teams and should have performed better than they had,” said Ecclestone of two drivers who will test for tail-enders Force India next week. They ought to give very serious consideration whether it makes sense to move into a less competitive environment. Maybe if they change teams, they’ll get a bit of a wake-up call.”

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