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Espionage: Stepneygate Saga discussion (merged)


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#1 F1Fanatic.co.uk

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 17:30

I must confess I was rather shocked by this:

http://www.autosport...rt.php/id/60025

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#2 carbonfibre

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 17:35

Well Ferrari doesnt do this just like that to someone who has been with them for ages already and is a well respected employee.

Maybe he leaked designs or other stuff to other teams?

#3 smirnoff-ice

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 17:37

and still some people will deny that there IS fight going on in the ferrari team. ;)

#4 Clatter

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 17:38

That is a surprise. What the hell is he supposed to have done?

#5 AFCA

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 17:39

It's news from Gazzetta this morning...

Originally posted by AFCA
Ferrari started an inquiry against Stepney...at the moment it's excluded this is another espionage affair (although voices close to Stepney say that the 48 year old is soon on his way to Honda) but it could be that Ferrari, in a preventive way, wants to clearly see what Stepney has been doing in recent times.



#6 F1Champion

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 17:40

Pretty shocked about this given his status within Ferrari and him being a member of the dream team.

I know he didn't like not being promoted but did he really have the experience to jump to technical director? That's assuming he wanted Ross Brawn's position anyway, but what other position would he have wanted?

If he wanted to leave he's definately going to now. :

#7 VoidNT

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 17:46

I'm shocked too. Machiavellian struggle for power at Ferrari of post-Schumi era has begun... Heads will roll.

#8 Atreiu

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 17:48

Originally posted by VoidNT
I'm shocked too. Machiavellian struggle for power at Ferrari of post-Schumi era has begun... Heads will roll.


Will this be a return to how it was in the early 90s?

#9 F1Champion

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 17:50

Originally posted by AFCA
It's news from Gazzetta this morning...



Well done AFCA on picking up on the news before it happened.

Could you clarify the part of the quote "at the moment it's excluded this is another espionage affair". What do you mean by "excluded"?

#10 pio!pio!

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 17:51

It was nice of them to initiate legal action while he was on vacation, thereby making him unable to defend himself and unable to hire knowledgeable legal representation... instead having an appointed defense attorney who doesn't care.

morale at Ferrari must be low

#11 F1Johnny

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 17:52

Originally posted by pio!pio!
It was nice of them to initiate legal action while he was on vacation, thereby making him unable to defend himself and unable to hire knowledgeable legal representation... instead having an appointed defense attorney who doesn't care.

morale at Ferrari must be low


Or what he did was really horrid. It is rather aggressive.

#12 LostProphet

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 17:55

Yeah this really shocked me when I read it!!
As far as I know, wasn't NS a pretty integral member of the 'Dream Time'?

Maybe this investigation is just a way to reduce his market value and put any other teams off trying to poach him. That would be pretty underhand and I hope it's not true, but hey, speculation is fun sometimes/

#13 AFCA

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 17:57

Originally posted by F1Champion



Well done AFCA on picking up on the news before it happened.

Could you clarify the part of the quote "at the moment it's excluded this is another espionage affair". What do you mean by "excluded"?


Sorry, I think 'ruled out' is the appropriate word there.

They were comparing the case with that of the two technicians that went to Toyota but they said that at the moment it is excluded the attorney is investigating something similar regarding Stepney.

Gazzetta wasn't specifically talking about a 'criminal' inquiry btw, that makes you think he's some kind of criminal. But I really hardly know anything about this kind of thing...

#14 Scudetto

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 18:01

Originally posted by pio!pio!
It was nice of them to initiate legal action while he was on vacation, thereby making him unable to defend himself and unable to hire knowledgeable legal representation... instead having an appointed defense attorney who doesn't care.


You presume this news comes as a shock to him. How do you know Stepney didn't flee for vacation in anticipation of this announcement?

It's not unheard of for high-profile corporate defendants to make themselves scarce when an indictment is handed down in order to allow a little time to pass to lessen the impact of the original announcement and time to confer with counsel to formulate a response.

#15 SeanValen

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 18:05

Teams like Honda and Toyota are desperate for results, Nigel Stepney like many others
a on this planet can be seduced by evil money, I don't know him well, as many of us I'm sure, so anything is possible.


Honda would I think would pay large amounts of sum to get some breakthrough in their performance, they clearly haven't had the brains of the top teams doing their car, this season is exceptionally embarrising for them.

#16 F1 Tor.

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 18:05

I said right from the beginning when Nigel started complaining about his role there that this would end in tears. :eek: Must be some serious charges. Maybe he used Michelle Yeoh's private bathroom or something. :lol:

#17 united

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 18:16

I wonder whether Nicolas Tombazis' tenure in McLaren in 2004-2005 could qualify as a espionage?

#18 Scudetto

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 18:21

Originally posted by united
I wonder whether Nicolas Tombazis' tenure in McLaren in 2004-2005 could qualify as a espionage?


No.

#19 VoidNT

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 18:29

Originally posted by united
I wonder whether Nicolas Tombazis' tenure in McLaren in 2004-2005 could qualify as a espionage?


If he won't be able to find an improvement for F2007 in upcoming months, everything is possible ;)

I think Stepney's comments about Ferrari technical management after Ross Brawn departure might be personal. Now that new management which he criticized doesn't do very good and they're under pressure. Brawn and Stepney could be called 'to cure the current problems' and these people will lose their positions, so they are now attacking Stepney and Brawn (indirectly) to alienate them from the team. It's just my speculation, though.

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#20 AFCA

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 18:30

Originally posted by AFCA
Sorry, I think 'ruled out' is the appropriate word there.

They were comparing the case with that of the two technicians that went to Toyota but they said that at the moment it is excluded the attorney is investigating something similar regarding Stepney.


We know that Stepney didn't get the job he was hoping for (Brawn's function) and Gazzetta writes that he has been 'neglectant' in his new job which would have made Ferrari more alert. Stepney would have 'spoiled' his working relationship behaving in an illicit manner within the area of his responsabilities and competences. (That seems to me that he is delibarately trying to 'force his way out' of Ferrari hoping to find a new job elsewhere (Honda?) and indeed has nothing to do with espionage or something - AFCA).

Originally posted by pio!pio!
It was nice of them to initiate legal action while he was on vacation, thereby making him unable to defend himself and unable to hire knowledgeable legal representation... instead having an appointed defense attorney who doesn't care.

morale at Ferrari must be low


The fact that this news comes out today doesn't mean that on this very day Ferrari asked for an enquiry. The fact that Stepney is on holiday (and hard to contact ?) meant that the attorney had to give him a laywer. Luca Brezigher is his name. He said: ''I've been given the job to defend Stepney a few days ago. At the moment I'm still in obscurity about what exactly is going on with Stepney. As soon as I know the facts I can give a clearer picture.''

#21 turin

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 18:30

Originally posted by SeanValen
Teams like Honda and Toyota are desperate for results, Nigel Stepney like many others
a on this planet can be seduced by evil money, I don't know him well, as many of us I'm sure, so anything is possible.


Honda would I think would pay large amounts of sum to get some breakthrough in their performance, they clearly haven't had the brains of the top teams doing their car, this season is exceptionally embarrising for them.


funny that you didn't mention schumacher on this post, though he fits the description rather well

#22 united

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 18:31

So now I am building up reserves of popcorn waiting when Stepney is going to TALK. I think we'll find something new about Ferrari

#23 VoidNT

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 18:40

Originally posted by AFCA
We know that Stepney didn't get the job he was hoping for (Brawn's function) and Gazzetta writes that he has been 'neglectant' in his new job which would have made Ferrari more alert. Stepney would have 'spoiled' his working relationship behaving in an illicit manner within the area of his responsabilities and competences. (That seems to me that he is delibarately trying to 'force his way out' of Ferrari hoping to find a new job elsewhere


That is rather bizarre. Why should employee stay in the team in which he doesn't want to work? Why does he need to 'force his way out' and neglect his job to quit?

#24 Mrv

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 18:40

Originally posted by united
I wonder whether Nicolas Tombazis' tenure in McLaren in 2004-2005 could qualify as a espionage?


Sure. He stole the plans on how to make a bomb with that Mclaren engine. :rotfl:

#25 Clatter

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 18:42

Originally posted by VoidNT


That is rather bizarre. Why should employee stay in the team in which he doesn't want to work? Why does he need to 'force his way out' and neglect his job to quit?


Depends on what the terms of his contract are.

#26 Scudetto

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 18:42

Originally posted by VoidNT
That is rather bizarre. Why should employee stay in the team in which he doesn't want to work? Why does he need to 'force his way out' and neglect his job to quit?


Revenge for being "passed over?"

Maybe it was Nigel who sabotaged the Ferrari windtunnel.

#27 Clatter

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 18:44

Originally posted by Scudetto


Revenge for being "passed over?"

Maybe it was Nigel who sabotaged the Ferrari windtunnel.


I reckon it was him that told the FIA about the flexi-floor. ;)

#28 AFCA

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 18:44

Originally posted by VoidNT


That is rather bizarre. Why should employee stay in the team in which he doesn't want to work? Why does he need to 'force his way out' and neglect his job to quit?


Really don't know (perhaps his contract says that he's not allowed to negotiate/go to another F1 team as long he's under contract with Ferrari ?), such a sad case this, Stepney really has been an important person over the years...

#29 Fatgadget

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 18:46

I remember when he got run over in the pits a while back and Martin Brundle describing him as a rather abrasive character.Maybe he rubbed someone up the wrong way! :p

#30 Scudetto

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 18:53

Originally posted by Clatter


I reckon it was him that told the FIA about the flexi-floor. ;)


Perhaps, but I wasn't entirely joking.

Based on what AFCA says, the case doesn't appear to be one of espionage...so what else could Stepney do as an employee which is so egregious so as to call for a criminal investigation? His alleged slacking off at his job ain't sufficient to warrent prosecution, so what could it be?

#31 AFCA

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 18:57

Originally posted by Scudetto


Perhaps, but I wasn't entirely joking.

Based on what AFCA says, the case doesn't appear to be one of espionage...so what else could Stepney do as an employee which is so egregious so as to call for a criminal investigation? His alleged slacking off at his job ain't sufficient to warrent prosecution, so what could it be?


Indeed.

I feel that the autosport title gives a bit of the wrong impression (based on what I have read and posted here) but surely he must have done something that makes Ferrari decide to start an investigation against him...Really we have to wait for more details.

#32 Clatter

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 19:01

Originally posted by Scudetto


Perhaps, but I wasn't entirely joking.

Based on what AFCA says, the case doesn't appear to be one of espionage...so what else could Stepney do as an employee which is so egregious so as to call for a criminal investigation? His alleged slacking off at his job ain't sufficient to warrent prosecution, so what could it be?


I don't honestly believe anyone in his position would do something that could be construed as criminal, just to get sacked. It would make him nigh on un-employable.

#33 AyePirate

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 19:10

There is probably an element of warning to Brawn at work here.

#34 boydy87

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 19:12

What is it with Italy and attracting scandals? Football and now formula one? I despise itilian sport with a passion.

#35 Scudetto

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 19:15

Originally posted by Clatter
I don't honestly believe anyone in his position would do something that could be construed as criminal, just to get sacked. It would make him nigh on un-employable.


Generally speaking, I wholly agree with you. But...doing what I do for a leaving, you see otherwise upstanding people committing unbelievable acts against friends, family, employers and their own interests which are motivated by revenge, greed, financial hardship, and other stressors.

Now, I'm not saying that's the case here. BUT, knowing that Nigel was obviously upset with his place in the Post-Schuey Ferrari era, it is not without precedent that his displeasure might rise to the level so as to cause him to do something which is completely out of his apparent character.

#36 slapstick

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 19:15

Originally posted by smirnoff-ice
and still some people will deny that there IS fight going on in the ferrari team. ;)


You must be salivating (or worse) at the thought. However it has to be something pretty serious if this kind of an action is taken.

#37 femi

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 19:25

Strange Ferrari action. I thought they promised not to over-react after Indy.

#38 Fatgadget

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 19:25

Originally posted by AyePirate
There is probably an element of warning to Brawn at work here.


You make it sound like the mafioso :eek: Once you join you can't leave...

#39 No brain no pain

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 19:27

MARANELLO, Italy (Reuters) - Ferrari said on Thursday that they had started court action against the Formula One team's former technical manager Nigel Stepney, but declined to give details on what he was alleged to have done.

The action has been brought in a court in Modena, the nearest large Italian town to Ferrari's base in Maranello.

"Nigel Stepney is still an employee but we have brought an action against him," said a Ferrari spokesman, who refused to give details.

"It is not related to any event, it is related to his behaviour, " he said.

Stepney, who has a Ferrari contract until the end of 2007, said in February that he was open to offers from rival teams after expressing unhappiness at management changes.

He was then moved to a new role, in charge of team performance development, away from the racetrack.

The Briton, who joined in 1992 as chief mechanic before the start of a golden period for Ferrari, played an important role in leading the pit crew at race weekends.

Ferrari, 35 points behind McLaren in this year's championship, have undergone major restructuring in their technical department with tactical supremo Ross Brawn leaving along with engine head Paolo Martinelli.


© Reuters 2007. All rights reserved

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#40 EvilPhil II

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 19:28

I suspect he has been 'seen' at the private honda test

#41 santori

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 19:30

Englishman Italianate, devil incarnate? :eek:

#42 VoidNT

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 19:32

Originally posted by EvilPhil II
I suspect he has been 'seen' at the private honda test


What an unfortunate place for a holiday.

#43 Scudetto

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 19:34

Originally posted by No brain, no pain
"It is not related to any event, it is related to his behaviour, " he said.


That's a pretty cryptic statement.

#44 Levike

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 19:35

It seems to me that they are not happy about his passive behaviour.
I can understand the team's action but i sympathise with Stepney, who i think, did nothing wrong. He was not happy with his job, he had a contract but he was excluded from the race track operations because the team doesn't want him to know more secrets before he leave. They know he wants to leave, they know that they don't want to give him a job he wants, so it's a perfect logical circle.

Levente

#45 gary76

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 19:36

Well,well Ferrari returning to type after a lull of a few years, tearing themselves apart from the inside with politics. Read between the lines in any of Niki Lauda's books!!

#46 Flynnie

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 19:40

Originally posted by boydy87
What is it with Italy and attracting scandals? Football and now formula one? I despise itilian sport with a passion.

So does this mean Massa and Ferrari will win the Formula 1 titles?

Cool!

#47 BuonoBruttoCattivo

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 19:41

Originally posted by Scudetto


That's a pretty cryptic statement.


Porn?

#48 AFCA

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 19:43

Originally posted by No brain, no pain
"It is not related to any event, it is related to his behaviour, " he said.


There's the confirmation to what was written in the pink paper this morning.

Originally posted by EvilPhil II
I suspect he has been 'seen' at the private honda test


Well some time ago a reliable site actually wrote something along the lines of him being spotted in England in the vicinity of Honda's factory, so who knows...

#49 BuonoBruttoCattivo

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 19:45

Originally posted by Levike
It seems to me that they are not happy about his passive behaviour.
I can understand the team's action but i sympathise with Stepney, who i think, did nothing wrong. He was not happy with his job, he had a contract but he was excluded from the race track operations because the team doesn't want him to know more secrets before he leave. They know he wants to leave, they know that they don't want to give him a job he wants, so it's a perfect logical circle.

Levente


What the hell are you talking about.?
Ferrari is bringing forth a 'Criminal Complaint' against NS, not something that is resolved within the mundane realms of employee-employer disputes...
This is something serious, as in criminal. In most corporate cases this invloves releasing corporate secret.

#50 Levike

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 19:51

Originally posted by BuonoBruttoCattivo


What the hell are you talking about.?
Ferrari is bringing forth a 'Criminal Complaint' against NS, not something that is resolved within the mundane realms of employee-employer disputes...
This is something serious, as in criminal. In most corporate cases this invloves releasing corporate secret.


I was reacting to this :

"It is not related to any event, it is related to his behaviour, " he said.

Anyway it's all just speculation, a game of phantasy so.....let's wait what happens...

Levente