Lewis Hamilton's bid to win the Formula One championship could be under threat after his McLaren team were charged with breaking the sport's rules.
Hamilton leads the drivers' standings by 12 points
McLaren will appear in front of the FIA on 26 July amid claims that their chief designer illegally received information from rivals Ferrari.
The sanctions open to the FIA range from fines to disqualification.
McLaren have expressed their "extreme disappointment" at being charged and deny all the allegations.
British rookie Hamilton leads team-mate Fernando Alonso by 12 points in the drivers' standings, while McLaren have a 25-point lead over Ferrari in the constructors' race.
McLaren's chief designer Mike Coughlan was suspended last week following allegations that he received technical information from sacked Ferrari chief engineer Nigel Stepney back in April.
A 780-page dossier of Ferrari design information was found at Coughlan's house and he has said he will provide a sworn declaration as to how he obtained the documents.
BBC Radio Five Live F1 summariser Maurice Hamilton said: "If the FIA are going to deduct points from McLaren then the driver will automatically lose his as well I'm afraid.
"It is down to Mike Coughlan. It boils down to whether he says to the FIA: 'This was my idea, I was looking for employment elsewhere and I was going to use this detail for the company I was going to go to and not McLaren'."
McLaren team boss Ron Dennis has repeatedly insisted that his team are innocent.
And a team statement said: "McLaren are extremely disappointed to note that they have been asked by the FIA to answer a charge of being in possession of certain documents and confidential information belonging to Ferrari.
"Whilst McLaren wish to continue their full co-operation with any investigation into this matter, they do wish to make it very clear that the documents and confidential information were only in the possession of one currently suspended employee on an unauthorised basis and no element of it has been used in relation to McLaren's Formula One cars."