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Home > Sports > Formula One > Reuters > Report


Timeline of Formula One's spying controversy

September 13, 2007 23:27 IST

McLaren appeared before Formula One's governing body on Thursday in the second hearing related to the team's unauthorised possession of Ferrari [Images] technical information.

The following is a timeline of the key dates in Formula One's 'spying' controversy:

Feb 1 - 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.

June 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.

July 3 - 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.

July 4 - 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.

July 6 - Honda confirm Stepney and Coughlan had approached them looking for jobs. The team say they were not offered any Ferrari information.

July 10 - London [Images] 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.

July 11 - Coughlan provides Ferrari with an affidavit. The team agree not to forward it to the Italian criminal authorities.

July 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'.

July 16 - McLaren issue another statement to emphasise nobody at the team was aware before July 3 that Coughlan had the Ferrari information.

July 26 - World Motor Sport Council finds McLaren guilty of unauthorised 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.

July 31 - FIA sends WMSC verdict to appeal after protest by Italian federation. Date of September 13 set later.

Sept 5 - FIA says it has new evidence. Cancels appeal hearing and reconvenes WMSC instead for the same date.

Sept 7 - 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.

Sept 8 - Italian magistrates visit McLaren in Italian Grand Prix paddock at Monza and advise senior management that they are under investigation.

Sept 13 - Second WMSC hearing in Paris.

© Copyright 2007 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.
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