Almost everything has been written about the story, the responsabilities, the trial and the ruling: this article is not intended to make another reconstruction of the spy story or to judge what has been decided in Paris, but simply to give a different perspective and insight on how Italians look at the FIA decisions.
A few days after the ruling of the FIA, Autosprint, one of the leading motorsport magazines, ran the headline: "McLadren!" (playing on the word Ladro which means Thief in Italian), whike another title from a major newpaper was: (McLaren) "shot, but non sunk".
Moreover, the press has, in general, been highlighting the great dissatisfaction and disappointment that comes from the consideration that, while the responsibilities of the McLaren organization have been clearly demonstrated, the justice has been only half-made. One journalist has written of "the loss of an ethical sense that hardly no victory can give back".
All the above could very well sinthesize the feelings of the common Italian motorsport audience towards the ruling, which some would consider quite logical and natural from the country where Ferrari is a real myth and a kind of national monument, to the point that many call her the "National Red Team".
But the reasons for such a reaction goes deeper in the mindset and in the system value of today's Italians: the spy saga has in fact brought back memories of some very recent and very painful episodes of political and sporting life, and has awakened the ethical sense that, unexpectedly for some observers, has been shown in this awkward event.
For years, Italy has been seen as a country where a certain level of bribery and corruption was considered physiologic, together with the fact that some very powerful and influential political and financial lobbies could benefit from relative impunity and immunity. The two stories below demonstrate that this is no more the case.
The first story is about the then Prime Minister and leader of the Socialist Party, allegedly involved in a large-scale corruption and bribery scandal. The point here is not to discuss if his involvement was real or not, but simply to recall what, at least in the people's perception, has been one of the major pillars of the prosecutors statements: "he couldn't not know" due to his personal position.
To explain it, though in a simplistic way: once the prosecution has demonstrated that some senior people in his political party organization were in fact getting "unethical" money, the extension to the Prime Minister and Secretary of the Party was based on that assumption.
As a consequence, the man has been forced to resign and into exile (again, here the point is not if this was right or wrong). The guy hasn't just been shot, he has been sunk! (to recall one of the titles mentioned above), and he's not the only one: as a matter of fact, most of the Italian traditional party system has been completely destroyed under the same accusation.
Applying the same reasoning to the spy story, people argue about how is it possible that senior representatives of the McLaren Team were not aware of what was going on and could pass almost untouched though this sad saga?
And, as a direct consequence: if a very powerful Prime Minister and Party Secretary had to pay also for the misdeeds of his organization, how can the senior management of an F1 team, no matter if it is one of the most important and influential, can get away just with a big fine?