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According to some sections of the media, most notably The Guardian, the senior member of McLaren's technical organisation who is the subject of a Ferrari investigation regarding the receipt of technical information and who has been suspended by the Woking team is Mike Coughlan, the outfit's chief engineer.
The Englishman first entered F1 in 1984, heading off to join John Barnard at Benetton in 1990. Both subsequently left Benetton, with Coughlan spending time at Tyrrell before joining Barnard at GTO, the British based wing of his Ferrari design operation. Nigel Stepney worked with Coughlan at both Benetton and Ferrari.
In 1998, Coughlan joined Arrows before heading off to Woking in 2003 as chief designer. Ahead of this weekend's British GP, the Woking team is leading both championships.
Until Tuesday, this appeared to be an in-house spat involving Ferrari and an employee who wanted to move elsewhere, most likely to Honda, then came Ferrari's claim and McLaren's subsequent admission that a senior member had been suspended.
While the general public will continue to focus on Lewis Hamilton's amazing rookie season, especially as he heads into his maiden F1 race on home soil, the rest of us will continue to speculate the whys and wherefores of this very strange saga.
However, all we at Pitpass are continuing to hear is the word "why", since none of it, especially the latest development, doesn't make any sense.
As one respected F1 insider asks:
Why does a person want secrets from another team? Is it because he can't find them himself, or he is not good enough to find them himself? Or that his team can't afford to find those answers to questions themselves? One cannot say that this would apply to McLaren. And if he was incapable of finding those answers himself, who would pay for them? Would he pay for them himself? The more we learn, the less we know, but one thing is certain, this is one story that will run and run because the implications are enormous, and a lot of people's reputations are on the line.
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