McLaren denies receiving Ferrari information

Following yesterday's revelations that Ferrari has made a legal complaint concerning the "theft of technical information" against not only its own employee Nigel Stepney but also an unnamed McLaren engineer, McLaren has issued a further statement...

Following yesterday's revelations that Ferrari has made a legal complaint concerning the "theft of technical information" against not only its own employee Nigel Stepney but also an unnamed McLaren engineer, McLaren has issued a further statement saying that no Ferrari information has been passed to, or used by the team.

Ferrari's case against Stepney and the McLaren engineer was presented in Modena but the team also said that legal action had been started in England and a search warrant issued, which had produced a "positive outcome". Media reports suggested a police search of the engineer's home had unearthed Ferrari documents.

McLaren suspended a senior member of its technical team on July 3rd when it discovered the engineer had apparently received technical information from a Ferrari employee back in April. McLaren's statement of today, July 4th, uses the words intellectual property rather than technical information as previously.

"McLaren has completed a thorough investigation and can confirm that no Ferrari intellectual property has been passed to any other members of the team or incorporated into its cars," the statement read.

"McLaren has in the meanwhile openly disclosed these matters to the FIA and Ferrari and sought to satisfy any concerns that have arisen from this matter. In order to address some of the speculation McLaren has invited the FIA to conduct a full review of its cars to satisfy itself that the team has not benefited from any intellectual property of another competitor."

The identity of the McLaren employee has yet to be revealed but is speculated to be designer Mike Coughlan, who previously worked with Stepney at Benetton and Ferrari. Some people are questioning the reasons behind the supposed trade of Ferrari information -- McLaren isn't short of technical expertise and reputations are at stake, so it all seems rather strange.

Meanwhile, the FIA has now launched an investigation of its own into the matter with the co-operation of both teams. "The remit of this investigation will focus solely on the requirements of the International Sporting Code and the Formula One Regulations," said a statement from the sport's governing body.

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Series Formula 1
Teams Ferrari , McLaren , Benetton