Ferrari has surprised the Formula One paddock by revealing that it is to take legal action against one of the members of the dream team that took Michael Schumacher to five successive world titles.

Although not given the same recognition as the likes of Schumacher, Ross Brawn and Jean Todt, Nigel Stepney acted as chief mechanic before rising to the post of technical manager for both the race and test team. However, the reshuffle that followed Schumacher's retirement and Brawn's sabbatical has not found favour with the Briton, who has made no secret of his desire to leave Maranello and head for one of the teams closer to home.

Stepney is allegedly unhappy with the way things are proceeding at Maranello and, having threatened to follow Brawn to the sidelines, has already been assigned to a backroom role away from the track. However, it would appear that discontent continues to simmer, leading to the latest revelation from the Scuderia.

"Nigel Stepney is still an employee, but we have brought an action against him," a Ferrari spokesman confirmed to Reuters, "It is not related to any event, it is related to his behaviour."

The case will be heard in Modena shortly.



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