From the Desk of Mike (The Hammer) Garvin

Ferrari still concerned over corporate espionage


Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo has proved that he is not yet ready to put the espionage dispute with McLaren behind him.

In the heat of the championship contest last year, the Italian cynically remarked "whoever wins the title will do so either with a little bit of Ferrari or with a proper Ferrari".

McLaren was fined $100m and excluded from the constructors' championship last year, and the FIA since cleared its 2008 car after the team voluntarily agreed to freeze certain aspects of development.

F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone's presence at the MP4-23's Stuttgart launch, meanwhile, was interpreted as a sign of the sport's desire to move on.

But to the Cologne newspaper Express, Ferrari president Montezemolo slammed McLaren's new single seater as a "silver Ferrari".

To the same publication, Ferrari designer Aldo Costa is also sceptical that the MP4-23 is uncontaminated by the nearly 800 pages of secrets that were viewed last year by suspended McLaren designer Mike Coughlan.

"They got the opportunity to understand the benefits of our technical concepts," Costa said.

"It is therefore my belief that Ferrari know-how has been incorporated into the new McLaren," he added.