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Curiouser and curiouser

NEWS STORY
16/07/2007

Although the contents of the sworn affidavit Mike Coughlan gave to Ferrari last week are meant to be secret at present - with only the Maranello outfit and the FIA aware of its contents - an Italian newspaper La Repubblica is claiming to have seen the document.

Indeed, La Repubblica claims to quote from the document and if true the contents are even more worrying for McLaren than previously imagined.

According to the Italian newspaper, Mike Coughlan claims that after receiving the 780 pages of documentation - which included not only included designs, but details of team procedures, set-up data, pre-season test data, all manner of invaluable information that would allow a rival to know exactly how Ferrari and the F2007 works, its strong points and its weaknesses - he showed the documents not only to McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale but to other (un-named) members of the Woking team.

According to La Repubblica, Coughlan says in his affidavit the his co-workers reacted in horror when shown the documents, making it clear, in no uncertain terms, that they wanted nothing to do with them.

Furthermore, and to add a further twist to the saga, according to La Repubblica, Coughlan has not officially confirmed that the documents came direct from Nigel Stepney, but merely that they arrived by courier.

Interestingly, La Repubblica does not go into specifics regarding the timescale of events, for it is this which could prove most damaging to McLaren. The Woking team, when it suspended Coughlan claimed that he received the documents in April, however it is now said that he had them as early as March.

If this information had been available to Coughlan at the start of the season, it would raise the all-important question of how exactly McLaren knew about the 'moving floor' on the F2007 as early as it did. The Woking team subsequently went to the FIA and the rules were changed. But again, how did they find out, was it due to pitlane detective work or did the Woking team already have the inside info - direct from the (prancing) horse's mouth. So to speak.

As we have said before, the more we learn the less we know.

However, one thing really puzzles us... how is it - assuming its true - that La Repubblica has been given access to the affidavit? And why?

It would appear that someone wants certain information (or misinformation) out in the public domain, ahead of the case, but why?

Curiouser and curiouser.

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