Renault was forced to admit that it had been using data from McLaren, acquired when an engineer moved between the teams bringing sensitive information with him which was then shared within Renault. McLaren, who had been fined $100 million in the notorious Spygate affair, were left incredulous when the FIA in effect let Renault off after accepting none of the information had been used in its designs. "I am absolutely at ease with it.' Renault boss Flavio Briatore said: 'I wish to pay tribute to the team, who have handled the matter with integrity and dignity." The media could not help compare his reaction with his splenetic attacks on McLaren during Spygate … nor of his close relationship with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone. "Is it fair?" Ecclestone said. "We are always fair."
On the eve of the title decider, it emerged Damon Hill was locked in a row with Williams over money. Hill's retainer of £300,000 was overshadowed by the £950,000 per race paid to Nigel Mansell on his occasional outings. "I'm pretty disgusted with some of the things that have gone on," he said on his arrival in Adelaide. "I feel they [Williams] have not contributed to making me feel that the team is behind me to win the championship. I have been in negotiation with the team about my contract. I do have a contract: they have taken up their option on my services for next year, but I reckon I am a lot better than my contract says I am. The dispute is about the team recognising what you feel yourself to be worth. I have won nine grands prix. This year I have had to carry the role of No. 1 driver in only my second season in F1. I'm one point off the championship lead with one race to go." Hill lost the championship but did agree a new contract. He eventually won the title in 1996, but did so after Williams had already dumped him for the following season.
Eddie Irvine ruled out a switch to rallying after testing with Colin McRae's Ford team. Irvine, who had been released by the Jaguar at the end of the season, said: "The experience has shown me that I can't just jump in to a rally car and be quick."
The fallout from the Max Mosley libel case continued with Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre claiming the "arrogant and amoral" judgments of Mr Justice Eady were "inexorably and insidiously" imposing a privacy law on the British press. Dacre said in the case brought by Mosley against the News of the World, Eady "effectively ruled that it was perfectly acceptable for the multi-millionaire head of a multi-billion sport that is followed by countless young people to pay five women £2500 to take part in acts of unimaginable sexual depravity with him. The judge found for Mosley because he had not engaged in a 'sick Nazi orgy' as the News of the World contested, though for the life of me that seems an almost surreally pedantic logic as some of the participants were dressed in military-style uniform."