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F1 formally closes McLaren spy saga

London, Dec 19: Formula One governing body, the FIA has formally put an end to the spying scandal that has rocked the sport this year by cancelling a hearing to investigate the design of McLaren's 2008 challenger.

The decision to call off February's meeting comes just five days after the Woking-based team issued a public apology for their role in the saga. McLaren were found to be in unauthorised possession of technical information belonging to Ferrari at a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) in September. The team were fined 50million, stripped of their 2007 constructors' points and warned that a thorough investigation would be conducted into their 2008 car to ensure it was effectively free of Ferrari information.

Facing the threat of being kicked out of the 2008 championship, McLaren last week offered to put a freeze on developments that could be determined as deriving from the Ferrari information.

The WMSC's decision to cancel the February 14 meeting comes after FIA president Max Mosley asked its members to reconsider their plans "in the light of McLaren's public apology and undertakings".

A statement posted on the FIA website on Tuesday read: "Further to the proposal of the FIA President, the World Motor Sport Council has agreed to cancel the hearing scheduled for February 14, 2008."

Although free to contest the 2008 season on the track, McLaren could still have tough times ahead after Ferrari confirmed they intend to pursue the matter through the courts, both in Italy and England.

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Story first published: Wednesday, December 19, 2007, 14:56 [IST]
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