Alonso quizzed by Italian magistrate in spying row

MILAN, Oct 9 (Reuters) Double world champion Fernando Alonso was interviewed by an Italian magistrate today as part of a legal probe into Formula One's spying controversy, media reported.

McLaren were stripped all their constructors points and were fined 100 million dollarslast month after being found guilty of benefitting from the possession of Ferrari information.

E-mails between Alonso and the team's test driver Pedro de la Rosa about Ferrari were used as evidence in a hearing of the FIA, the sport's governing body, which led to McLaren's punishment.

Ferrari started a separate legal case against former engineer Nigel Stepney, who is alleged to have passed the infomation onto suspended McLaren chief designer Mike Coughlan.

But Giuseppe Tibis, a magistrate in Ferrari's home district of Modena, has broadened the investigation and several McLaren employees were warned at last month's Italian Grand Prix that they were under investigation.

Italian media reports on Tuesday said Alonso had arrived at the Modena magistrates office in great secrecy to avoid the waiting cameras and jounalists.

Spaniard Alonso is just four points behind team mate and championship leader Lewis Hamilton with only the Brazilian Grand Prix left this season.

Reuters SSC DB2016

Story first published: Wednesday, October 10, 2007, 12:13 [IST]
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