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Last Updated: Monday, 30 July 2007, 09:27 GMT 10:27 UK
Angry Ferrari rule out spy appeal
By Andrew Benson

Felipe Massa's Ferrari
Ferrari currently trail McLaren by 27 points in the constructors' standings
Ferrari have accepted that they cannot appeal against the decision not to impose a penalty on arch-rivals McLaren in Formula One's spying row.

Ferrari said F1 rules did not allow an appeal against the decision made by the FIA world motorsport council, the body that heard the case against McLaren.

But a Ferrari spokesman said the team were "evaluating all possible options" when it came to pursuing the case.

He insisted the team's legal cases in Italy and England were ongoing.

The FIA ruled on Thursday that the title race was unaffected by McLaren's possession of secret Ferrari documents - nearly 800 pages of which were found in the home of the Anglo-German team's chief designer, Mike Coughlan.

McLaren, who insisted that they did not use or benefit from the information in Coughlan's possession, still face a championship ban if in the future they are seen to have gained any advantage from the data.

Ferrari have taken action in Modena against former performance director Nigel Stepney, who they accuse of leaking technical secrets to McLaren.

The London High Court said on Monday that no more proceedings were planned in Ferrari's case against Coughlan, who has been suspended by the team.

But Ferrari said they were pressing on with their claim against the Englishman.

Their barrister, Nigel Tozzi, said the case was "progressing in the ordinary way", but that there were "no current hearings coming up".

Ferrari have been highly critical of the FIA's decision, with team boss Jean Todt saying there was "not even a sign of logic in this verdict".

He added: "Either they are guilty or they aren't. McLaren were found responsible of having violated the regulations of F1, of having behaved in a fraudulent manner, but they haven't been punished.

It's like having played poker against a rival who knows your cards

Jean Todt
Ferrari team boss
"That's not all: McLaren during the hearing admitted to have received secret material, and that the knowledge of this operation of espionage arrived at the top level, even to [team boss] Ron Dennis, and there hasn't been any penalisation. It's shameful.

"One thing is certain: we at Ferrari can calmly look at ourselves in the mirror. I think others, since yesterday, can't do the same thing," added the Frenchman.

That last remark is a clear dig at Dennis, who often talks in similar terms when discussing disagreements between McLaren and Ferrari.

Todt also rejected the FIA's claim that the leaked documents had not given McLaren an on-track advantage this season.

"From this verdict a strange situation comes up: it's like having played poker against a rival who knows your cards," he said.

"The advantage is evident, it's huge, even."

In an impassioned statement on Ferrari's website, Todt has accused McLaren of hypocrisy.

He claims that he and McLaren boss Ron Dennis signed on 9 June an "agreement to establish a better relationship between our two teams".

He added: "Since that time and even earlier, McLaren was perfectly aware, not only of the e-mails sent by their informer within our company, but also of the fact that their chief designer had stayed in contact with him and had received and continued to be in possession of a significant amount of technical information that belonged to us.

"So, on the one hand, they had come to say 'let us trust one another', and on the other they were hiding serious facts such as those just stated above, but making no effort to inform us as would have been in the spirit and to the letter of our agreement."

McLaren have insisted that none of their staff knew Coughlan possessed the Ferrari documents until July. They refused to comment on Monday.

What does F1 spy verdict mean?
27 Jul 07 |  Formula One
Ferrari fury over McLaren verdict
26 Jul 07 |  Formula One
McLaren off hook in F1 spying row
26 Jul 07 |  Formula One


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