mcdenife wrote:We (on this forum at least) are discussion of the inconsistencies (or unfairness, double standard call it what u will) of the FIA' spygates decisions. Team loyalties aside, Renault and Mclaren should have been found guilty of possesion but nothing more and punished accordingly. However, the FIA went way beyond than its remit.
Well, we on this
forum are engaged in a discussion and this thread is about Renault's dealings with McLaren IP. None of us has a monopoly on the subjects, themes and the content and I have to note that on my part (beyond debating the inconsistencies only) I'm also trying to introduce those aspects that are consistent. There are also those aspects the consistence of which doesn't matter since Renault's doings deserve to be appraised in their own right also and I'm rather desperately trying to consider that as well.
The FIA seems to have taken the view that unauthorised possession of someone else's IP, while a legal offence, isn't in itself punishable by the international sporting code. I suppose this is because the non-sporting ramifications can, and propably will be, assessed in a court of law. Also, material possession alone doesn't signify attempted use of the information. Hence the "I barely looked" defence being so overwhelmingly popular with those who have admitted to possession already. Again, the WMSC listed at least the following considerations as determining the punishability:
access to information
the dissemination of information
the influence of the information
intent to use the information
Beyond individual cases we can discuss whether that constitutes the best possible criteria. Within the individual cases we can examine whether the above standard was adhered to. Between individual cases we can try and determine what constitutes consistency in applying them.
I can also hear the echoes of many a website and discussion board in the statement that the WMSC/FIA has gone "beyond its remit". I haven't considered this too carefully, but I also suspect many who have gone on to repeat that phrase haven't done half as much. The "beyond remit" argument is currently being advocated by those who'd wish to see one or another party to F1 challenge FIA's authority in sporting matters in a civil suit of some sort. Of course I'm very interested if anyone can actually offer some insight into the self regulation of sporting associations vs. their legal environment. Here are the terms of reference of the WMSC, of which I suppose the WMSC has tried to act within the first four in this case:
1 ) To see to the enforcement of the Statutes and the International Sporting Code.
2 ) To settle any sporting question which the General Assembly has forwarded to be dealt with.
3 ) To settle any question which cannot await the General Assembly of the FIA to be dealt with subject to the rights of the Committee and of the Senate expressed in these Statutes.
4 ) To take the decisions required by the Direction of the FIA in the sporting domains which are not reserved to the General Assembly, Committee or Senate.
5 ) To manage the funds provided for in the budget for the operation of the sport.
6) To distribute to the Sporting Commissions the tasks they are to execute, to take decisions concerning the reports of these Commissions, and forward them to the Members of the FIA.
7 ) To present to the General Assembly its recommendations for the admission and the striking off the rolls or expelling of FIA Members, as well as for any sanctions which might be imposed.
8 ) To study the International Sporting Code with a view to identifying any possible modification to be proposed to the General Assembly.
9 ) To approve the Regulations and the list of races counting for the FIA Championships, Cups, Challenges and Trophies, and to recognize their results.
10 ) To propose to the General Assembly the personalities to whom the title of "Président d'Honneur", "Vice-Président d'Honneur" or "Membre d'Honneur" of the FIA or of its Commissions should be conferred.
11 ) To ensure that all records submitted under its jurisdiction be recognized as rapidly as possible.
12 ) To establish and obtain approval by the General Assembly of the Internal Regulations of the FIA concerning sporting activities.
13 ) To propose to the General Assembly the Members of the Sporting Commissions; to appoint the Presidents of the Commissions.
14 ) To make regular reports to the FIA Annual General Assembly on the activities of the World Motor Sport Council.
15 ) The World Motor Sport Council, if it deems it necessary, may include persons representative of certain categories or international corporative bodies concerned with motor sport in certain Sporting Commissions, after having proposed their membership to the General Assembly. These persons will be present in an advisory (but non-voting) capacity, after prior agreement of the ACN or ASN of the country concerned.
16 ) The World Motor Sport Council may, in the framework of the sport, constitute when necessary special geographical structures for organising, developing and controlling regional sporting activities. Each one of these structures must include at least one representative on the World Motor Sport Council elected under the conditions set down in the Internal Regulations of the FIA
17 ) The World Motor Sport Council shall meet when convened by the President of the FIA as often as he deems it necessary and no less than 3 times a year.
18 ) Should the World Motor Sport Council consider that the sporting interests of the FIA are not adequately defended in a particular country or a specific territory, the Council may, after consulting the organization affiliated to the FIA if any, take such steps as are in the opinion of the Council necessary and desirable to give effective representation to that country or territory in the various bodies of the FIA.
mcdenife wrote:... Please re-read De la Rosa questioning and his answers. He also aluded of what he thought was the source of Mike c' info and what is common practice/knowledge among F1 engineering/design officionadoes (for lack of a better word) in terms of info exchange etc. and methods used to obtaining info from observations of competitors cars etc. Of the witnessess, he came across as one of the most articulate, intelligent and credible. In short nothing was confirmed or admitted and afterward the same suspicions etc remained. Put another way, nothing was proved either way regarding whether Maclaren came clean or not (whether or not you think they came clean is not enough to crucify someone. Proving it either way, however, is). Note, of MCL's drivers, De la Rosa was the only one to testify. The others simply gave written statements, the contents of which were not revealed in the transcripts.
I remember de la Rosa's questioning quite well. His testimony didn't change the published content of the text messages, the confirmed trail of those text messages, nor the sources/quality/amount of IP information that wasn't supposed to be found nor applied withing McLaren in any manner or form. In Renault's case there was no need to request affidavits from the team's drivers nor question them, so I'm wondering what the relevance of de la Rosa's statements here in this context is in the first place? There's no comparison to make there and de la Rosa's statements as such made no reference to Renault.
Beyond this, of course, as I stated before, in the context of sporting regulations and enforcing them, valid suspicions that could be examined on will remaining unresolved doesn't work in one's favour. It hardly makes your case if you state that suspicions remain because things weren't admitted to or confirmed, especially whereas it's in someone's power to disprove suspicions that have rational enough grounds to land in front of the WMSC to consider. In McLaren/Ferrari's case the FIA chose not to examine or make distinctions between a team's leadership sincerely trying to co-operate but failing and a team's leadersip failing to co-operate for some other reason.
The WMSC seemed to choose to ignore this in part because there were already grounds to consider exclusion, the heaviest penalty. My criticisms of the FIA with regard to McLaren/Ferrari's case have to do with FIA's actions possibly reducing or impeding McLaren's chances of succeeding in its co-operation (as in complete openness and willingness to find out everything that happened) to begin with, a level of openness the FIA on the other hand seemed to require of McLaren.
The schedules imposed (especially before the first hearing) were very tight, the immunity provided to the drivers seemingly put McLaren's leadership in an almost impossible position (and as far as remits go, Frank Williams went as far as cautiously stating he didn't remember what part of the presidents statute actually enabled him to offer the drivers immunity), and so on. As a layman, I would've challenged the process on those grounds, but I guess McLaren has reasons why it hasn't done so.
Any comparisons with another case seem like an unnecessary detour if one wants McLaren's case somehow re-examined still. Doubtless McLaren's representation, if asked, will dismiss suggestions that a possible re-examination of their own previous case motivated them in part in taking Renault through the same process as they had endured, instead of challenging Renault's IP misappropriation in a court of law (suggested by Ecclestone, I think). And as has been stated, insofar as it was in McLaren's interest to find out what Renault had done, other considerations beyond that wouldn't have added to the validity of their immediate concerns.
This of course doesn't prevent many in the media and numerous messageboard posters from seeing McLaren/Renault vs. Ferrari/McLaren in the very context of completely challenging the earlier case, its end result and ramifications.
mcdenife wrote:"Knowingly breach the rules"? Put simply, who did? That is they key question. Was it ever established in any of the first 2 hearings?
You ask me this and then proceed to quote a WMSC meeting document that in its opening lines goes on to state "Neither Ferrari nor McLaren have ever disputed (whether at the 26 July WMSC meeting or since) that confidential Ferrari information was passed from Stepney to Coughlan during the period in question."? Furthermore I used that word in the context of trying to explain that holding a company responsible for its employees' actions is a commonplace legal principle all over the World.
Furthermore, as ignorance of rules doesn't generally constitute a valid defence of braking them, I used the term "knowingly" because at the very least it implies that there are certain things that quite naturally should be suspected of running foul of rules. Common sense would have it that receiving current data from a competing firm should raise such suspicions, following from "knowing", if not specifically, that there are rules about such things. But this is semantics, even if I did enjoy Bill Clinton debating the meaning of word "is" with regard to the nature of his relationship with one Ms. Lewinsky.
Bill Clinton and the Meaning of "Is" - link, Slate
But what was this thread about, again? Oh right, Renault being in unauthorised possession of McLaren IP.