McLaren team chief defiant over ‘spygate’ sanctions

PARIS, Sept 13, 2007 (AFP) – McLaren boss Ron Dennis has refused to accept the FIA’s decision to strip his team of their 2007 constructors’ championship points for their involvement in the Formula One spy saga.

Formula One’s governing body has also fined the British team 100 million dollars for incorporating illegally obtained Ferrari intellectual property on their MP4-22 car.

The material concerned is a 780-page dossier given to then-McLaren chief designer Mike Coughlan by ex-Ferrari engineer Nigel Stepney in April.

Dennis has protested McLaren’s innocence since the story broke in early July and continued to do so after Thursday’s decision.

“The most important thing is that we will be going motor racing this weekend, the rest of the season and every season. This means that our drivers can continue to compete for the world championship.

“However having been at the hearing today I do not accept that we deserved to be penalised in this way,” he said.

“Today’s evidence given to the FIA by our drivers, engineers and staff clearly demonstrated that we did not use any leaked information to gain a competitive advantage.

“We have never denied that the information from Ferrari was in