J'Accuse! Renault Found Guilty... Receives No Punishment

Illustration for article titled JAccuse! Renault Found Guilty... Receives No Punishment

We've mentioned the whole Renault Spygate thing before, but just to sum up: Renault hired ex-McLaren team member who showed some McLaren drawings to Renault, who claims they didn't use any of the info. Apparently, the FIA bought the Renault excuse and, as with Ferrari, didn't levy any penalties because they didn't believe the team got any advantages from the information.


Renault, obviously, is quite relieved. Not to be complete pansies, the FIA did say that there could be facing severe punishment if fresh proof emerged. Of course, the people at Renault aren't idiots and have promptly destroyed all fresh proof by now. [Reuters]

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@respawn: Well, I think they should go for consistency rather than casual apparent consistency. Quite frankly I don't think the FIA should be determining their rulings based on what people who don't follow the sport think.

The similarity between the Renault case now, and the McLaren case in July are remarkable: Each team was found with information from another teams car but claimed that the information was isolated and none of it influenced the design of the car.

In McLaren's case, we later found out that the information had been used and that there was a systematic transfer of technical and strategic information from Ferrari to McLaren over the course of the season.

The FIA has left it open that they could punish Renault similarly if they find out the technical information influenced the design of the Renault car. That's exactly what they said to McLaren in July.

I doubt, however, that even if Renault is found to have used the information that their penalty would be as harsh as the McLaren penalty. There's a difference between an engineer changing jobs and bringing proprietary information along with him, and having a mole in another team who is feeding you information over the course of the season. Both are cheating, but the latter is much more serious.