Motor racing-McLaren's De la Rosa interviewed by magistrate

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MILAN, Oct 30 (Reuters) McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa was interviewed by an Italian magistrate today as part of a legal probe into Formula One's spying controversy.

The Spaniard tried to avoid the waiting media as he arrived at the offices of Giuseppe Tibis, a magistrate in Ferrari's home district of Modena.

McLaren were stripped all their constructors' points last month after being found guilty of benefitting from the possession of Ferrari information.

E-mails between de la Rosa and McLaren driver Fernando Alonso about Ferrari were used as evidence in a hearing of the FIA, the sport's governing body, which led to the punishment.

Alonso was questioned by Tibis as a witness on October 9.

Ferrari started the legal case against former engineer Nigel Stepney, who is alleged to have passed the information on to suspended McLaren chief designer Mike Coughlan.

However, Tibis has broadened the investigation and several McLaren employees were warned at last month's Italian Grand Prix that they were under investigation.

REUTERS RJ BD2132

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