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McLaren F1 bosses questioned in spy probe

February 28, 2008 14:34 IST
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McLaren executives were questioned by Italian investigators on Wednesday as part of a legal probe into a spying controversy that cost the team the Formula One title last year.

"McLaren Racing has today continued its co-operation with enquiries instigated by the Modena Magistrate," the British-based team said in a statement, without naming individuals.

Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper said this month that prosecutor Giuseppe Tibis intended to question McLaren team principal Ron Dennis, chief executive Martin Whitmarsh, engineering director Paddy Lowe and senior employees Jonathan Neale and Rob Taylor.

McLaren said British police had "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," the team added.

Mercedes-powered McLaren suspended their chief designer Mike Coughlan last July after a dossier of Ferrari technical information was found at his home in England.

Ferrari, who won both titles last season after McLaren were fined a record $100 million and stripped of all their constructors' points, have accused their now-dismissed engineer Nigel Stepney of sending him the material.

Tibis has already interviewed McLaren's former driver Fernando Alonso, the double world champion who left for Renault in December, and Spanish test driver Pedro de la Rosa.

Stepney, who is also accused of sabotage by Ferrari but denies the charge, met the prosecutor in Italy last week.

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