F1 »

Spy row finally over as Italian authorities drop charges

The infamous spy row – which has rumbled on in Formula 1 since it exploded onto the scene mid-2007 – is finally now over, with news that the Italian authorities have dropped all charges against McLaren-Mercedes.

Legal action had been in place against the Woking-based concern's former chief designer Mike Coughlan and three current senior members of the team, in the wake of the espionage scandal provoked by the passing of a 780-page dossier containing confidential data to Coughlan by then Ferrari engineer Nigel Stepney two years ago.

Whilst those proceedings have now been ended, all four men remain liable for fines, with Coughlan having to cough up £158,000 in return for not contesting charges of copyright infringement, the BBC reports. Engineers Paddy Lowe, Jonathan Neale and Rob Taylor – who are all still employed by McLaren – each face a penalty of £131,500.

McLaren were fined a sporting record $100 million two years ago for receipt of private information belonging to another team, and disqualified from the Formula 1 Constructors' World Championship.

“The proceedings in Italy were merely the officialising of what had been proposed long before, namely the 'nolo contendere' (no contest) agreement,” explained a spokesman for the multiple title-winning outfit. “A line has finally been drawn under this matter.”

Earlier this month, FIA President Max Mosley announced that both Stepney – who remains the subject of ongoing legal action in Italy initiated by Ferrari – and Coughlan, who was also once employed by the Scuderia, have both been effectively pardoned to work in motorsport again, even if he urged all F1 teams to approach the pair with extreme caution [see separate story – click here].


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
McLaren Nosecone, French F1 Grand Prix, Magny Cours, France, 20th-22nd, June, 2008
Sebastian Vettel, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, ROC [Credit: ROC]
Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates after winning the 2017 Race of Champions title in Miami [Pic credit: ROC]
Race of Champions 2017, action [Pic credit: ROC]
Juan Pablo Monotya. Race of Champions 2017, action [Pic credit: ROC]
2017 Race of Champions line-up in Miami [Pic credit: ROC]
Benetton
George Russell, Mercedes junior programme, [Credit: Mercedes]
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Motorsport in 30 Seconds, 11th January 2017
Ayrton Senna - McLaren. 1993 Donington Park
Renault Formula One Team, launch date, [Credit: Renault F1]
Nigel Mansell - McLaren-Mercedes
M-Sport reveals its Ford Fiesta RS WRC challenger
Who will replace Nico Rosberg at Mercedes?

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.