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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 February 2008, 07:35 GMT
McLaren chiefs quizzed by police
Ron Dennis
Dennis's McLaren team are now answering to a criminal investigation
McLaren chiefs were questioned by Italian police on Wednesday as part of a criminal investigation into last season's spy row.

McLaren were caught with technical data belonging to Ferrari, who are pursuing legal action at a court in Modena.

The team said police "accompanied Italian investigators to the homes of a number of McLaren executives as part of their ongoing investigation.

"A similar process has been performed at the McLaren Technology Centre."

it is for Ron to decide when and if he should step down, step away, step back, or whatever

McLaren chief executive Martin Whitmarsh

McLaren did not say who had been visited by the investigators; although team boss Ron Dennis, chief executive Martin Whitmarsh, chief designer Mike Coughlan and engineering director Paddy Lowe were all expected to be questioned.

The team added: "The police are completely satisfied with the co-operation they have received.

"These actions are part of a normal judicial process in connection with the ongoing investigation, and are supported by McLaren Racing."

McLaren suspended Coughlan after a dossier of Ferrari technical information was found at his home.

Ferrari's former head of development Nigel Stepney is believed to have passed the dossier on to Coughlan; although his lawyer denied that at the Modena court.

McLaren were fined 50m and stripped of all their constructors' point for the 2007 season by the sport's governing body the FIA for their involvement in the spy row.

Whitmarsh insisted Dennis would not be forced to step down as result of the probe.

"People who suggest that Ron may be forced to step down don't understand the corporate structure of the McLaren Group," said Whitmarsh.

"Ron is fully supported by all our shareholders, all our management, and all who work for our team and our company.

"He currently has three roles: chairman, McLaren Group; chief executive officer, McLaren Group; team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.

"It therefore follows that it is for Ron to decide when and if he should step down, step away, step back, or whatever."

Stepney goes before prosecutors
07 Feb 08 |  Formula One
Stepney blames McLaren's conduct
21 Jan 08 |  Formula One
McLaren face new 'spygate' threat
09 Sep 07 |  Formula One
Ferrari's spy row appeal date set
08 Aug 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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