2007 Formula One Espionage Controversy

2007 Formula One Espionage Controversy

The 2007 Formula One espionage controversy, also known as "Spygate," or "Stepneygate" involves allegations that the McLaren Formula One team was passed confidential technical information from the Ferrari team, and that the Renault F1 team was passed confidential technical information from the McLaren team.

The original case involved allegations made by the Ferrari Formula One team against a former employee (Nigel Stepney), a senior McLaren engineer, Mike Coughlan, and his wife Trudy Coughlan concerning the theft of technical information.

These allegations were the subject of legal action in Italy and an FIA investigation. A High Court case in England was dropped after Ferrari reached an agreement with the Coughlans.

An FIA hearing into the matter took place on 26 July 2007 but did not result in any penalty for McLaren, however a second hearing took place on 13 September 2007, and by then in receipt of compelling evidence resulted in several penalties for the team. The most important of these were the team's exclusion from the 2007 Constructors' Championship and a record-breaking fine of $100 million (USD).

Following information from McLaren allegations were subsequently made during November 2007 by the FIA against the Renault F1 team regarding information they were found to have in their possession concerning the 2006 and 2007 McLaren F1 cars. These allegations were also the subject of an FIA investigation, with an FIA hearing taking place 6 December 2007. Renault were found guilty of breaching the same regulation as McLaren, but were not punished.

Read more about 2007 Formula One Espionage Controversy:  Background, Timeline

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2007 Formula One Espionage Controversy - Timeline
... 2007 March or April McLaren's chief designer Coughlan obtained in March, prior to the Australian GP, documents from Nigel Stepney ... The suggestion is that Ferrari suspects a new case of espionage, involving the transfer of information to rival teams ... extraordinary meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Paris on July 26, 2007 to answer a charge of breaching Article 151c of the International Sporting Code ...

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