By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
KUALA LUMPUR, March 27 — An intellectual property scandal involving Tan Sri Tony Fernandes’ Caterham could cost the racing team its spot in the Formula One series, the Daily Mail said today.
The UK paper said that a recent court ruling concerning car designs of Caterham and rival Force India could very well affect the racing team’s future in F1.
The High Court ruled last week that Aerolab — a design company used first by Force India and subsequently Caterham — must pay Force India £21,000 (RM101,720) for misuse of confidential information as employees passed on some of their aerodynamic designs to Caterham.
“Force India and Marussia believe the ruling indicates a basic infringement of the FIA’s International Sporting Code — the same article under which McLaren were charged and found guilty in the Spygate saga of 2007,” the UK paper said.
It added that rival team Marussia are “concerned” that Caterham gained an unfair advantage when they both entered Formula One that year.
Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley had called on the FIA to take action against Caterham, saying that it would cost Fernandes’ team “tens of millions” if they were punished by the racing authority.
“If nothing is now done, that means a free-for-all in the paddock,” Fernley was quoted by the Daily Mail as saying.