F1 team staff under continued investigation
28 February 2008

The “spygate” affair that shook Formula One to its core last year is rumbling on, with confirmation from McLaren that Italian investigators accompanied by British police officers have visited the homes of several senior executives – and have also spent time inside McLaren’s Woking factory.According to reports in the Italian press, the Modena magistrate Giuseppe Tibis intends to question team bosses including principal Ron Dennis and CEO Martin Whitmarsh. Although the FIA has declared the matter closed, Italian legal authorities are continuing their investigations, and McLaren may still face further penalties.The news puts more pressure on Ron Dennis – not least of all because of the potential embarrassment the ongoing investigation might cause throughout the 2008 season. McLaren’s chief designer Mike Coughlin was suspended last year after being found in possession of a confidential technical dossier that had been passed to him by Ferrari engineer Nigel Stepney. The McLaren team was subsequently fined $100 million and thrown out of the 2007 Constructors’ Championship.In a statement, the team said: “The Surrey 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. 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.”

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