Motorsport boss Max Mosley has warned that any Formula One team found guilty of spying in the future can expect to be kicked out of the championship.
McLaren and Ferrari were caught up in a spying row in 2007
McLaren were fined £50m and lost all their constructors' championship points after the 2007 spying controversy, but their drivers stayed in the title race.
"Next time, I don't think they would stay in the championship," Mosley said.
"In McLaren's case everybody said 'Oh, $100m'. The alternative was to exclude them. That'd have been more expensive."
Despite their team's punishment, McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso were allowed to stay in the 2007 drivers' championship, finishing second and third respectively behind Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.
Mosley, president of motorsport's governing body the FIA, warned teams that no repeat of the spying scandal would be tolerated next season.
"You can never stop what someone has got in his head, but we can stop the transfer of information in written or electronic form," said Mosley.
"If you are prepared to check, and we have demonstrated that we are, then somebody using such information would be very unwise because in a modern F1 team you cannot do it without leaving traces and we will find those traces."