Ferrari denies affidavit leak


With Ron Dennis threatening a full legal investigation into the leaks to the Italian media of what are claimed to be extracts from Mike Coughlan's sworn affidavit, Ferrari team boss has said that his team is not the source.

Speaking at the Nurburgring yesterday, Jean Todt, when asked about the ongoing case(s) said: "As you are aware, we have a penal case ongoing in Italy against Nigel Stepney and we have a civil case in the UK against Mike Coughlan. There is one hearing organized by the FIA on the 26th (July).

"At this stage, as I said two weeks ago, we cannot comment on it," he continued. "Unfortunately it has been leaked too much in the press over the last days but it's out of our control. The more people who are aware, the more opportunity you have to have leaks. We just have to follow the procedures which are in process."

Asked if he was concerned at the legality of the affidavit following the alleged leaks, since it was meant only to have been seen by Ferrari and the FIA, the Frenchman said: "I think other people should be more worried than us on this particular matter."

Speaking on Saturday, Ron Dennis made it crystal clear that he was incensed by the leaks and the subsequent trial by media. It was also the first time that the Englishman has named (designer) Mike Coughlan, the McLaren employee at the heart of the saga - along with Nigel Stepney.

"I am eager to get into the process and put it behind us," said Dennis. "Probably few people really understand what the circumstances surrounding this process are. Or they certainly lack the understanding of the deeper implications of not adhering to the instructions of the court.

"The High Court ruling led ultimately to three recipients of Mike Coughlan's affidavit being told in no uncertain terms that it was privileged information, and that they would be committing a legal breach in the event of any of it being shared with third parties," he continued. "I am sure the FIA understands the nature of the court order, so I can only assume the other parties who had this material have chosen to share distorted excerpts with other people.

"It is important to remember that it is the sworn statement of one individual in this affair and, as such, one would expect it to be the truth as he sees it. But we've not had any input in the process.

"Up until today I have not even acknowledged that Mike Coughlan is the suspended employee," he added. "There is a way to go through life and that is to follow the correct procedures. If other people choose to go down a different path that leads to the very damaging process where people have seen fit to spin and make derogatory remarks about the integrity of McLaren, fine. But that's not my style."

Consequently, either Ferrari is lying, or perhaps the Italian newspapers that claim to have seen parts of the affidavit are lying. If not, who did reveal the secret document to outsiders, and why?

Article from Pitpass (

Published: 23/07/2007
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