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McLaren face FIA hearing into 'spying' row

The sport's world governing body charges the team following claims that a technician got confidential information from Ferrari.
AFP | By HT Correspondent, London
UPDATED ON JUL 12, 2007 11:16 PM IST

British Formula One team McLaren were charged on Thursday by the sport's world governing body, the FIA, following claims a member of their staff received confidential technical information from arch-rivals Ferrari.

An extraordinary meeting of the FIA's world motor sport council in Paris on July 26 will hear McLaren answer a charge that they breached article 151c of the international sporting code.

The rule relates to "any fraudulent conduct, or any act prejudicial to the interests of any competition, or to the interests of motor sport generally."

McLaren's chief designer Mike Coughlan has been suspended after allegations he received technical information from sacked Ferrari chief engineer Nigel Stepney back in April.

Italian team Ferrari brought a case against Coughlan to London's High Court this week. However, the hearing was suspended on Wednesday after Coughlan said he would provide a sworn declaration as to how he obtained the papers at the heart of the 'spying' row.

McLaren are currently leading second-placed Ferrari by 25 points in the constructors' world championship rankings.

In the drivers' championship, McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, from Britain, is leading in his debut Formula One season with 70 points. His teammate and double world champion Fernando Alonso is second on 58 points.

Kimi Raikkonen, who won Sunday's British Grand Prix at Silverstone, is third on 52 points and Ferrari colleague Felipe Massa fourth on 51.

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