Renault team chief Flavio Briatore admitted he was baffled by the FIA World Motor Sport Council decision yesterday to apply no penalty to McLaren despite finding them guilty of unauthorised possession of Ferrari documents.
The WMSC found McLaren to be in breach of article 151c of the International Sporting Code but said there was insufficient evidence to suggest McLaren had used the confidential Ferrari information "in such a way as to interfere improperly with the FIA Formula One World Championship."
Briatore said found the mixed decision baffling, and compared it to Pontius Pilate, who famously washed his hands off the decision to crucify Jesus Christ.
"I don't understand what happened," Briatore told Gazzetta dello Sport, "because to begin with you would only gather the World Council if you had proof. Otherwise, if you don't have proof, you avoid such a meeting.
"So I don't understand what happened: if the FIA admits to have established possession of Ferrari material by McLaren, then why is there no retribution? This verdict reminds me of Pontius Pilate."
Briatore also said the entire affair has been damaging to Formula One as a whole, but he empathised with Ferrari's frustration over the verdict.
"These weeks we've all heard and read what happened, and surely this story has been very damaging for the business of Formula One, also considering the great media exposure it has had," the Italian said.
"If someone had some advantage from the possession of the material, it would have been fair for him to pay the consequences. Besides, I too would have liked to know Ferrari's weight distribution...
"I spoke on the phone with [Ferrari chief] Jean Todt, and he sounded very bitter. I also understand [Ferrari president Luca] di Montezemolo's anger."