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Stepney accuses Ferrari of cheating

NEWS STORY
04/10/2007

Nigel Stepney, the man at the heart of the spy saga that has rocked F1 this year, and who is still under criminal investigation and should therefore be minding his Ps and Qs, has accused his former employer (Ferrari) of cheating, claiming that it had access to McLaren's 'secret' information.

"I got information about when they (McLaren) were stopping," he told Grandprix.com, referring to the Woking team's pit stop strategy, which he claims he obtained from Mike Coughlan. "I got weight distribution, I got other aspects of various parts of their car from him.

"I was aware of certain stuff they were doing at tests, fuel levels, for example," the Englishman admitted. "I knew what fuel level they were running.

"The question is: did I use the information, did I talk about it? That's the big question. I spoke to some people (at Ferrari) about it. I can't prove it, there are no e-mails or anything. Points about the fuel and the differences (between Ferrari and McLaren) were discussed inside. As well as McLaren having an advantage, did Ferrari have an advantage? I think so.

"Ferrari got off very lightly," he added. "I was their employee at the time. I think they should have been docked points, personally."

Ferrari was quick to respond, dismissing the story and the messenger: "We cannot take into consideration quotes from a man like him," said a spokesman, "a man who gave 780 pages of Ferrari documents to the chief designer of McLaren, who exchanged 320 e-mails and SMS messages with him. Can he sound credible talking about that?"

While Stepney has claimed that he knows where Ferrari's bodies are hidden, team boss Jean Todt is adamant that his team has nothing to hide.

"I have read so many times 'wait until you know all what Ferrari has been doing'," he told The Times, "but I'm quite (happy with) my conscience over the past 15 years and, believe me, if Ferrari had been (doing anything), after all these controversies, it would have come out."

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