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Mosley questions Dennis's integrity

FIA president Max Mosley has questioned McLaren team chief Ron Dennis's integrity in his dealing with the governing body during the spying affair - but Dennis himself has defended his actions by insisting he was truthful throughout

Mosley recounted the events that led the FIA to contact the McLaren drivers and request their collaboration, which resulted in new evidence submitted to the World Motor Sport Council against McLaren.

And the FIA president believes Dennis was not telling him the whole truth on the affair.

Speaking on ITV today, Mosley said: "On the morning of the Hungarian Grand Prix, Ron rang me and he said, 'I've just had Alonso in the motorhome and he says he's got information and he's threatening to give it to the Federation.'

"So I said, 'What did you say Ron?' He said, 'I said, go on and hand it over.'

"I said, 'Ron, you said exactly the right thing.'

"And then Ron said, 'But there isn't any information.'

"So I said, 'So it's an empty threat?'

"And he replied: 'Yes, a completely empty threat. There's no information, there's nothing to come out; I can assure you that if there was something, Max, I would have told you.'

"Now this was a week after looking me in the eye in the World Council and telling me there was absolutely nothing wrong and everybody had done exactly as they should do, so I believed him.

"I've known Ron for 40 years; it's very difficult for me, when somebody I've known for 40 years looks me in the eye and says, 'Max, I'm telling the truth with complete sincerity' - you believe him.

"It was only when I got the list from the Italian police [showing] 323 SMS phone calls going over a three-month period between Coughlan and Stepney, [that I concluded] there had to be more to this.

"You don't get 300 messages arranging a visit to Honda. This is something serious. At which point, I sat down and wrote the letter to the drivers, and the rest is history."

Dennis quickly responded to Mosley's accusations, defending his actions and stating at the time of speaking with Mosley, he was telling the truth based on what he himself knew at the time.

"I was a little surprised by what Max said," Dennis told ITV. "I am working hard to get closure on a very unpleasant experience that McLaren have had.

"I don't want to get into the detail, but I do want to address one thing, and that is that when someone asks me a question - and I've answered some difficult questions - at the time I made those answers I told the complete truth.

"At the point of the first hearing, when I was asked the question did I know anything more, the truth was, I didn't.

"The emails that passed between our drivers were as big a surprise to me when I heard, as anyone else - and as I said, if they existed, what I said to Fernando was that he must give them to the FIA.

"I just want to be very clear that at no stage did I ever say any lie to anybody.

"I put my integrity above everything. I just want to be very clear about that particular point."

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