Controversial accusations of espionage have dominated the Formula One as of late. Following the suspension of top Ferrari engineer Nigel Stepney, suspected of attempting to sabotage the team’s race cars before the Monaco Grand Prix, officials at Ferrari have charged him a second time for allegedly passing technical information to chief McLaren designer, Mike Coughlan, in April of this year.
Soon after rumors broke, Ferrari obtained a British search warrant and found numerous technical documents at Coughlan’s home in Surrey, England. Although McLaren denies any involvement in the espionage accusation, it has continually refused to release the name of the employee currently under investigation by prosecutors from the northern Italian city of Modena. In a recent statement, McLaren said that it had become aware that a ‘senior member of [our] technical organisation’ had received a package of technical information from Ferrari at the end of April.
Meanwhile, long-time Ferrari staffer Stepney continues to deny the allegations of sabotage, claiming that he is the victim of a Ferrari ‘dirty tricks’ campaign. In response to the scandal that rocked the Formula One, world motor racing authority FIA has opened an inquiry into the case.