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Mosley: next spy team to face exclusion

FIA president Max Mosley has warned that any Formula One team caught spying in the future will likely be thrown out of the championship.

Last year, McLaren were fined $100 million and stripped of all their constructors' championship points for having Ferrari data leaked by former mechanical Nigel Stepney to McLaren's chief designer Mike Coughlan.

But Mosley believes that if something similar happens in the future, the team involved are likely to be thrown out altogether.

"You can never stop what someone has got in his head, but we can stop the transfer of information in written or electronic form," Mosley said in an interview with the official Formula One website.

"And if you are prepared to check - and we have demonstrated that we are - then somebody using such information would be very unwise because in a modern F1 team you cannot do it without leaving traces, and we will find those traces.

"Next time, whoever it was, I don't think they would stay in the championship. In the case of McLaren everybody said 'oh, a hundred million dollars', but the alternative would have been to exclude them - and that would have been more expensive!"

The FIA head admitted he is pleased with the way the governing body handled the spying scandal.

"I would say that we did it the right way at each stage," he added. "When we had the first hearing on the 26th of July we were all very suspicious.

"We did not really believe that the only person involved was Mike Coughlan, but we had to find clear evidence and there was not sufficient evidence to convict them.

"Then when we had the second hearing there was enough evidence, and although we were greatly attacked in the English press I think that any objective person would say that there was quite enough.

"Then when we conducted the detailed inquiry and looked at all the emails and everything then the evidence became absolutely clear and overwhelming. But the people who didn't want to believe it still don't believe it."

And Mosley is also hopeful of a scandal-free 2008.

"I hope so. But it is not in my hands."

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