You would be hard pressed to find anyone in a Formula 1 paddock who seriously believes that McLaren chief Ron Dennis was behind the News of the World’s recent exposure of FIA president Max Mosley’s private life, and yesterday Dennis reacted angrily to an inference to that effect from a high-ranking FIA official.
Radovan Novak, the general-secretary of the Autoclub of the Czech Republic (ACCR), and, perhaps more importantly, the president of the FIA's Central European Zone (CEZ), made the suggestion in a radio programme in Prague, in the Czech Republic.
The interview was conducted in Czech, and when questioner Vaclav Moravec asked Novak who he thought might have been responsible for the Sunday newspaper’s investigation into Mosley and their subsequent exposure of his orgy with five prostitutes, he suggested people who had received heavy fines from the FIA. When asked if he was referring to McLaren, whom Mosley fined $100m last year for their alleged part in the Stepneygate spy scandal, Novak replied using a Czech expression "Ano treba, McLaren", which can be translated as "yes, for example" or "yes, perhaps".
"We have written to Mr Novak and are currently considering the appropriate route via which the remarks that have been attributed to him may be withdrawn or corrected," said Dennis.
"As I have consistently said whenever I have been asked about this, I categorically deny that I have anything to do with the News of the World investigation into Mr Mosley," he added. "Neither does anyone connected with the McLaren Group or the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team, and neither does any agent or any other party acting on behalf of myself or anyone connected with the McLaren Group or the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team."
The FIA offered no comment amid speculation why Novak, an ardent Mosley supporter, chose to make the remark.Reuse content