McLaren's outgoing CEO Ron Dennis has confirmed that his team's relationship with the Italian squad has improved consistently through the last year, especially since Ferrari's Luca di Montezemolo is now coordinating the efforts of the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA). The Italian plays a representative role for all F1 teams in FOTA's discussions with the FIA regarding the future of the sport.
“Today I have a totally different view of Ferrari than one year ago. At that time our relationship was very difficult, but perhaps difficult times bring people together. I now have an excellent relationship with Luca di Montezemolo. He is a key figure among the teams (FOTA alliance) to improve the sport,” said Dennis in an interview for German magazine Auto Motor und Sport.
Dennis' comments come only one day after the official termination of Italian Court's legal actions against four McLaren drivers. As reported by several Italian media channels, Rob Taylor, Jonathan Neale and Paddy Lowe were all fined 150,000 Euros for the knowledge of secret information belonging to Ferrari, while Mike Coughlan – key figure in the scandal – received a 180,000 Euros fine.
The Woking-based team issued a short statement afterwards, accepting the decision of the Modena court.
“The proceedings in Italy were merely the officializing of what had been proposed long before, namely the 'nolo contendere' agreement. A line has finally been drawn under this matter,” said a spokesman for McLaren, as reported by GMM news agency.