A gaffe by McLaren's communications department late on Wednesday left the British team with red faces and some members of the media venting their anger.

The team sent an email to the hundreds of regular recipients of its press releases asking them to update their contact details ahead of the 2011 season.

But McLaren forgot to hide the email id of the 'priority' and 'general' media distribution lists, meaning that recipients pressing 'reply all' accidently sent their details to hundreds of members of the media all over the world.

Realising the foul-up and seeing their inboxes and phones becoming flooded with emails, some journalists displayed anger at the mistake, whilst others saw a funnier side.

On Twitter, the saga is now known as 'McLarenmailgate'.

"McLaren's version of Facebook can perhaps be called McBook," one email reply read.

The most famous personality to press 'reply all' was former racer and now British television commentator Martin Brundle, who was not amused.

He wrote: "What a ridiculous **** up," he wrote. "Brilliant. Hello everybody. My Blackberry battery is not prepared for this. Happy Christmas."

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