Spy Story: Bernie Ecclestone informed FIA about de La Rosa and Alonso email exchange 

Written by David on September 20th, 2007 at 12:11 pmLast Update: September 20th, 2007 at 12:11 pm

Bernie Ecclestone Indian Grand PrixNew details about the espionage case emerged with the publication of the World Motor Sport Council transcripts on Wednesday. In the 13 September hearing, which resulted in McLaren’s constructors’ championship exclusion and record $100m fine, it emerged that Bernie Ecclestone may also have been involved in informing the FIA about the incriminating emails between Pedro de la Rosa and Fernando Alonso.Previously, it was believed that Ron Dennis tipped off the FIA after what he believed had been an empty threat issued by reigning world champion Alonso during a heated argument in Hungary.

The 26 year old Spaniard was subsequently described as an extortionist in the world’s press. But Dennis suggested in Paris that “Bernie said that he may have seen something” and that he “would pass it to Mosley”.

“I do not know what that is,” the McLaren boss added. “I do know that Bernie said it was in Spanish, but I do not know how this material came to the knowledge of the FIA,” he added, also in the presence of Ecclestone, who is F1′s Chief Executive. Nigel Tozzi, a lawyer acting for Ferrari, soon cleared up the mystery, jointly crediting the emergence of the emails to both Ecclestone and Alonso. “If Alonso had not shown the documents to Mr. Ecclestone, and Mr. Ecclestone had not alerted Mr. Mosley, who then wrote to the drivers, we would not have found out about these e-mails,” he said.

Elsewhere in the transcripts, when it was clear that exclusion from the 2007 and 2008 championships was a real threat for McLaren, engine partner Mercedes-Benz’s Norbert Haug spoke about the impact that it would have on formula one. In a possible reference to McLaren-Mercedes’ alliance with Prodrive, he said: “We are speaking to a second team now; as you know, there are other issues in Formula One now. “This is not a threat; this comes from my heart.”

Former Ferrari Technical Director Ross Brawn was also present as an expert witness for the Maranello based team, and he confirmed that he is in talks about returning to the sport. “I know that you have left Ferrari to take a break from motor racing. Are you planning to return to motor racing?” McLaren lawyer Ian Mill asked the Briton. Brawn replied: “I am currently in discussion with Ferrari about that possibility.”

source: GMM

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