Rob W wrote:Exactly - the most apt point made about this whole thing. What would the punishment have been if McLaren had broken into another team's facilities and stolen them? $500 million?
Um. At no stage was it shown Dennis knew anything about it. Once the case was underway it looked like he went to the FIA and tried to do the right thing (albeit very embarrassed) - clearly in order to prevent the team being excluded or him being painted further in a poor light.
For those who think this is plainly McLaren cheating, try this scenario: if Ferrari can claim 'rogue employee' re: Stepney removing stuff (after he's already been under suspicion of whatever), then it's only fair you also consider that Coughlan at McLaren was a 'rogue employee' also - acting without the knowledge of the team and against their sporting spirit (at least initially).
Once the stuff is in-house it can be used without everyone knowing the source easily.. it was the testing info which was the major hit for McLaren as it was pretty easily proven via the text messages and Alonso/De La Rosa's coming clean over it all.
The sheer fact that Stepney hasn't been charged says they either don't have nearly the evidence they thought on him - or they think he has sufficient enough info on their previous questionable operations that they don't want to piss him off lest it show up in the public domain.
All this has been said and done before in other threads, so my apologies to everyone reading these posts. However, some people seem to selectively forget some important aspects of this story..
If McLaren had officially actually broken into Ferrari's factory to steal this information, and this was proved, I would expect them to be banned from F1 for at least a couple of years, probably five.
If Dennis did not know anything then he should have been removed for incompetence, provided his employees were running tests trying out solutions based on the stolen information. He also should have avoided to "guarantee" to Mosley that the content of those "hot" e-mails contained absolutely no information relevant to the scandal. And he ought to have found out the truth a bit earlier and brought everything to light himself, not wait around several months waiting to see if he'd get away with it: surely, after the scandal broke out if he had asked around someone would have admitted to him what was going on! Not to mention anything about the text messages informing his team of Raikkonen's pit stop strategy, during a race: he was around there, wasn't he?
Obviously this is not a simple case of cheating. It is a very complicated case of cheating, involving parties from both sides. I believe the major hit for McLaren was not that they allowed all this to happen, but that when they were caught out they tried repeatedly over a period of months to bury the case, failing to see that such a huge scandal could not be buried, in other words they behaved exactly as a guilty party would. But they did admit everything in the end and apologized, after they were assured their drivers would keep their points to keep the fight for the WDC interesting, so if they were happy to do that I can' see why everyone else shouldn't be happy with that.
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. H.P.Lovecraft