Any Formula One team found guilty of spying in future can expect to be kicked out of the championship, FIA President Max Mosley warned on Tuesday.
McLaren were fined $100 million and stripped of all their 2007 constructors' points for a controversy involving Ferrari information.
But despite the Mercedes-powered team's punishment, Spain's double world champion Fernando Alonso and his British rookie team mate Lewis Hamilton were allowed to remain in the fight for the drivers' title.
"You can never stop what someone has got in his head, but we can stop the transfer of information in written or electronic form," Mosley told the official Formula One Web site (www.formula1.com).
"If you are prepared to check, and we have demonstrated that we are, then somebody using such information would be very unwise because in a modern F1 team you cannot do it without leaving traces and we will find those traces.
"Next time, whoever it was, I don't think they would stay in the championship.
"In the case of McLaren everybody said 'Oh, $100 million', but the alternative would have been to exclude them and that would have been more expensive."
Mosley also said that proposals put forward by the governing body to impose a budget cap on teams were workable, with major manufacturers in favour.
"Obviously the problem with the cost cap is we have got to agree how we are going to enforce it, how are we going to check and what the figure should be," he said.
"I am very convinced that we are able to do it, but people are still sceptical, saying: 'How will you know for sure they haven't had something given to them?".
"The answer is we've got some very good plans for that. It will all be discussed in the next few months."
He said an ideal situation would allow a mid-field team to run at a profit but it could take two or three years to get to an agreed figure.
He denied that any cap would lead to significant job losses at teams.
"It certainly would reduce staff but on the other hand the big car manufacturers at the moment are desperately short of engineers to meet the targets for the road engines," said Mosley.