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Jean Todt : McLaren used our Designs to limit our Development


Ferrari Espionage Nigel Stepney

In what will come as a shocker to most fans, it seems McLaren was well aware of the information in possession of Mike and Trudy Coughlan. The Stepneygate scandal got another twist when Jean Todt claimed that during the hearing McLaren bosses accepted the fact that they had the secret Ferrari classified documents since March 2007 and the company knew about it.

They had used the information to stall Ferrari’s development by asking for clarifications about certain Ferrari formula one car’s features after studying the Ferrari blueprints. These clarifications were directly aimed at Ferrari after studying the classified documents. If this is true, it means that McLaren did try and take advantage of the blueprints in their possession.

He also said that McLaren had admitted that the documents were infact handed over by none other than Nigel Stepney. Stepney has so far pleaded innocence in the whole matter.

Jean Todt said :

“I am bitter about it, On the one hand a verdict of guilt was handed down and on the other, no sanctions were imposed. I cannot understand it.

“During Thursday’s meeting, the McLaren bosses, with no exceptions, admitted that their chief designer had obtained since back in March, prior to the Australian GP, documents from Nigel Stepney.

“Some of this data was used to prepare a clarification request submitted to the FIA, aimed clearly at us, given that throughout the Melbourne weekend, McLaren team principal and his closest colleagues made statements in which they threw doubt over “some cars.”

“Therefore, such information was in fact used to obtain an advantage over us: not through an improvement in their performance, but instead through limiting ours.

“It should be noted that usually, an informant or whistleblower goes to the competent authority to denounce something, whereas in this case he went to Ferrari’s main rival who, and it is not us who say this but the FIA, took great care not to mention that the information was obtained in this way.

“In Ferrari’s opinion, it is like playing a hand of poker with a rival who already knows what cards you are holding.”

“Since that time and even earlier, McLaren was perfectly aware, not only of the e-mails sent by their informer within our company, but also of the fact that their chief designer had stayed in contact with him and had received and continued to be in possession of a significant amount of technical information that belonged to us,” he explained.

“So, on the one hand, they had come to say “let us trust one another,” and on the other they were hiding serious facts such as those just stated above, but making no effort to inform us as would have been in the spirit and to the letter of our agreement.”

“The decision remains very disappointing and surprising.

“For our part, we will press on with the legal actions currently taking place in Italy and in England and we do not rule out taking further action.”

Written by Formula One Addict

July 31st, 2007 at 7:48 am

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