Nigel Stepney may not have acted alone in the crimes alleged against him by Ferrari, according to sources in Italy.

Now a former employee of the Scuderia, having been dismissed from his post as technical manager on Tuesday, Stepney has been accused of both sabotaging the team's cars ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix and, more recently, passing technical secrets to arch-rival McLaren.

Having returned to Italy last night after a family holiday in the Philippines, the Briton has again denied that he committed either crime, and admitted that he was 'surprised' to have been fired by the team, even though he had been earlier placed on suspension pending police and internal investigations.

While the local police have confirmed to Stepney that he is being investigated for 'various crimes', however, Italian news agency ANSA reports that the 47-year old may not have acted alone, claiming that two other team members were also under scrutiny. Stepney's Italian home was again searched yesterday [Thursday] as police look for evidence - including email records - that he did indeed pass secrets to McLaren, which has refused to confirm media speculation that chief designer Mike Coughlan was the recipient.



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