Turbulent times ahead for the FIA, I fancy, as the governing body’s World Motor Sport Council convenes in Paris on December 6-7 to adjudicate on two knotty problems. One is to sort out whether the 2008 F1 McLaren MP4-23 has traces of Ferrari technology in its DNA, the second to establish whether Renault ripped off McLaren design data from Woking's 2006 and 2007 contenders in a manner so brazen it makes McLaren’s own incursion onto Ferrari’s patch look as insignificant as parking on a double yellow line.
I don’t care how FIA president Max Mosley and his well-groomed advisors explain it away, the $100m fine and loss of championship points inflicted on McLaren was a savage and utterly unreasonable penalty which just made the sport appear frivolous in the eyes of the paying public. Now, if Renault are found bang to rights, I just don’t see how there is any alternative but to stick them with a similar penalty. That is going to be a tricky old number, because I can see the Renault top brass baulking at signing that sort of cheque and pulling out of the sport instead.