Timeline of Formula One Spygate History

September 13th, 2007


McLaren have been stripped of their points and disqualified from the 2007 Formula One constructors’ championship.

What is Formula One Spygate? 

The Formula One Spygate is all about whether McLaren had confidential information that details exactly how the Ferrari team were running their season; the car, the tactics, and what they were going to do. The suggestion is that Nigel Stepney, a very senior engineer at Ferrari, passed a dossier of data plus other bits and pieces to McLaren’s chief designer, Mike Coughlan.

According to CNN, Mike Coughlan’s wife, Trudy Coughlan, had taken the document for duplication at a copy shop near McLaren’s Woking headquarters. An employee of the copy shop, suspicious that confidential data was being copied, blew the whistle to Ferrari.

The allegation of why Stepney passed that information on is not really the issue.The important thing is what McLaren did with that information once it came into their domain, and how many people saw it. At a previous hearing, McLaren said only Coughlan had seen the information.

The FIA is in possession of new evidence which suggests that more people than just him saw it. Rumors have centered on emails between McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa and reigning world champion Fernando Alonso.

Timeline of Formula One Spygate

Feb-01 Ferrari test and technical manager Nigel Stepney says he is open to offers from rival teams after expressing unhappiness at changes following the departure of technical director Ross Brawn. Stepney is moved away from the race team.
Jun-21 Ferrari start court action against Stepney in Italian city of Modena. Three days later, Stepney accuses Ferrari of waging a dirty tricks campaign against him.
Jul-03 McLaren suspend chief designer Mike Coughlan, after confidential Ferrari information is found in a search of his home. Ferrari say they have brought a legal action against Stepney regarding the theft of technical information. Stepney is dismissed, denies wrongdoing.
Jul-04 McLaren say that none of the leaked Ferrari information has been used on their cars and invite the International Automobile Federation to carry out a full review.
Jul-06 Honda confirm Stepney and Coughlan had approached them looking for jobs. The team say they were not offered any Ferrari information.
Jul-10 London High Court hears how Coughlan “behaved disgracefully” by copying and keeping Ferrari documents. Ferrari spokesman reveals that case centres on two computer discs containing 780 pages of Ferrari information.
Jul-11 Coughlan provides Ferrari with an affidavit. The team agree not to forward it to the Italian criminal authorities.
Jul-12 FIA charge McLaren and summon representatives to an extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) in Paris on July 26. McLaren say they are ‘extremely disappointed’.
Jul-16 McLaren issue another statement to emphasize nobody at the team was aware before July 3 that Coughlan had the Ferrari information.
Jul-26 World Motor Sport Council finds McLaren guilty of unauthorized possession of Ferrari information but imposes no sanction because of a lack of evidence that they benefited from it. However, McLaren are warned that they could be kicked out of this and next year’s championship if new evidence emerges.
Jul-31 FIA sends WMSC verdict to appeal after protest by Italian federation. Date of Sept. 13 set later.
Sep-05 FIA says it has new evidence. Cancels appeal hearing and reconvenes WMSC instead for the same date.
Sep-07 FIA releases copy of letter sent to McLaren drivers, warning them of ‘serious consequences’ if they don’t produce any written evidence they have and assuring them they won’t face legal action if they cooperate.
Sep-08 Italian magistrates visit McLaren in Italian Grand Prix paddock at Monza and advise senior management that they are under investigation.
Sep-13 Second WMSC hearing in Paris. McLaren have been stripped of their points and disqualified from the 2007 Formula One constructors’ championship.

[Source : metro.co.uk]

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