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Formula 1: McLaren spying on Ferrari

 The efforts of Lewis Hamilton are under threat, after a Formula 1 scandal reveals that McLaren Mercedes may have been spying on rival Ferrari.

Formula 1: McLaren spying on Ferrari McLaren have suspended chief designer Mike Coughlan, who is being accused of receiving technical information from Ferrari employee.

 The revelation comes after Ferrari launched an internal investigation into their own employee, the former team manager Nigel Stepney. According to the Italian Formula 1 team, Stepney has been stealing parts and technical data, which he later delivered to other Formula 1 teams. No official charges have been filed against Nigel Stepney, but a formal complaint has been submitted to the court and the Italian police is investigating Stepney.

 Mike Coughlan is said to be the only McLaren employee who has received information from Stepney, although McLaren would not make the name of the engineer accused of spying public. Coughlan and Stepney worked together at the Benetton team in the early 1990s and later at Ferrari's old UK design studio. Mike Coughlan lawyers announced that the engineer will hold a press conference later this week to prove his innocence.

 Ferrari told journalists during a press conference:

 "We have proof that Stepney had been supplying technical information to a McLaren employee. A search was carried out of the (McLaren) engineer's house, where we found this information."

 McLaren Mercedes responded with the following press release:

 "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. McLaren has in the meantime 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."

 This new development could cast a shadow over the McLaren's top-rookie and current Formula 1 drivers' leader Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton and his teammate Fernando Alonso are the leading drivers, and Lewis Hamilton is 17 points ahead of Felipe Massa, the leading Ferrari driver.

 The next Formula 1 race is the British Grand Prix on Sunday, July 8th. The British online sportsbook Bet365 have Kimi Raikkonen as their favorite to win the race with odds 9/4, followed by Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa both with 5/2 on the British Grand Prix.

Published on 07/04/2007

Related news:

 Kimi Raikkonen wins the French Grand Prix, Hamilton third
 Lewis Hamilton wins the US Grand Prix



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