Friday April 7th, 2000
A leading Formula One team cheated last season by breaking strict technical rules governing the cars, International Automobile Federation (FIA) president Max Mosley said on Friday. The unnamed team was discovered to have been competing with an illegal car during FIA winter auditing of information, Mosley said at a news conference ahead of Sunday's San Marino Grand Prix.
"We became aware of it during our routine winter audit," he said.
Mosley added that the rule-breaking had not had any significant effect on last year's world championship in which Mika Hakkinen won the drivers' title and Ferrari took the constructors' title.
It was believed that Mosley was indicating the team had carried illegal electronic software on the car.
This belief supported long-held views and reports that certain cars have used illegal electronic devices such as traction control and masked the software.
Mosley said he did not wish to identify the team and hinted that others may also have been doing something similar. He added that the FIA were not yet "100 per cent certain about everything" to do with this form of cheating.
He said the FIA would be speaking to the team to decide what should be done.
He also announced that there would be a technical clampdown on teams' electronic systems introduced for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in two weeks.