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In most countries, acts like murder, treason, or plotting to overthrow the government rank among the most heinous crimes a person can commit. In Italy, stealing secrets from Ferrari ranks right up near the top of the list, too.

Following a long, drawn out process, two former Scuderia Ferrari engineers, who stood accused of stealing secrets from Maranello and giving them to rivals at Toyota F1, have been convicted. Pending appeal, Angelo Santini was sentenced to nine months and Mauro Iacconi to 16 behind bars on charges of industrial espionage.

Back at the start of the 2003 season, Toyota built a wind-tunnel down the road from Ferrari in Sant'Agata Bolognese, near the Lamborghini factory. Naturally the project recruited the talents of many former Ferrari engineers, but when the season kicked off, Toyota's car looked suspiciously like Ferrari's. Complaints were filed in Italy and in Germany, and the case against Santini and Iacconi went to court a year ago. Toyota's former team principal, chief designer and chief aerodynamicist were all charged in Germany, where the case against them is pending prosecution.

It seems that Toyota will stop at nothing to catch up to Ferrari, and when hiring a Schumacher didn't work, less legal means were employed.

[Source: GrandPrix.com]



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  • 16 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      ...Well, it's not like it's helped much.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Nice try Lee Gibson. Two things there, first, the article (the one autoblog is summarizing) states, " Santini, who worked at Ferrari from 1995 until the start of 2002, had moved to Toyota". So being at Toyota means Toyota engineer. Second, when a coke employee tried to give secrets to Pepsi, Pepsi turned them in i.e. even if it was just the Ferrari engineers doing something, Toyota doesn't have to accept the info and could turn them in. Remember, the Japanese got where they are by HARD WORK and only hard work (I see this FACT everyday from the import fanboys). Why couldn't they be like Pepsi then?

      So, bottom line, Lee, don't let the detail of a link to the article with all the info get in your way.
      • 7 Years Ago
      lalaland... my sentiments exactly.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Instead of having a veneer of relevant input, all the Toyota haters might as well post a canned response of "I'm racist against Japanese and therefore disapprove any Toyota news item." Would save yourself time."

      So all GM haters are racist against Americans? Oh wait, America is made up of so many races I guess nobody could jump to that conclusion. Oh wait, I also show my disapproval for German companies too. Gee, it is always race and not anything else is it?

      I hope you are not American. Personally I am not a hyphenated American. If I cared about the first part of the hyphen then I'd be there instead of here and neither would my ancestors have cared to come here or stay.

      I guess there are advantages of not opening up your society (to the masses of races like the Japanese don't do). First, you have less lawsuits (over hate crimes for instance). You work as a group better because less differences. And finally, if anyone dislikes anything having to do with your society you can bring up the race card. It must be nice. Poor unracist Japanese who get where they are just by good old fashioned hard work (well, except for racing and probably everything else).

      No Aki, it is called when you are #1 like Toyota is now or are on nice streak getting there you are in the spot light. But if you can't see all the GM haters and see this for yourself and want to pull the race card then whatever.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If the results from F1 and Cup racing is any indication, Toyota doesn't cheat very well. But now that I think about it, I guess that 2003 Ferrari technology is working real well.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Not only Toyota steals, but Toyota also hides recals. Steal from other companies, hide recals for the general public in order to be known as the best... are not the best way to do business. I'll never buy a Toyota. Sorry Toyota. I won't or can't help you this way.
      • 7 Years Ago
      #7 the illegal wings at Ferrari were inspect because Toyota blamed Ferrari... the FIA inspector inspect all cars...the most illegal wing was at a ... TOYOTA!!!!!

      ;-)
      • 7 Years Ago
      Everyone in F1 pushes the rules as far as they'll go - whats the point in not trying? Everyone seems to love to hate toyota but isn't ferrari running a currently very iffy flexible floor at the moment? (flexs under high force i.e. at high speed to reduce drag giving them, according to some teams, an illegal straight line speed advantage, while retaining downforce through the slower corners...) My point is is not just toyota that do this, every team will try to nick others ideas its just whether they get caught or not.

      A nice example is the early lotus ground effect cars. The car was beating everything, so naturally everyone wanted to know what was causeing it. So lotus began covering the engine/gearobx after everyrun as a decoy so no one would think of the under floor elemnets. Of course eventually everyone soon worked it out...
      • 7 Years Ago
      As the old saying goes, "If you ain't cheating, you ain't trying." EVERYBODY CHEATS AND STEALS IN RACING. Remember Ferrari's illegal wing? Illegal brakes? Illegal traction control? Toyota just got caught. Not like the theft helped them any. How many podium finishes does Toyota have now?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Instead of having a veneer of relevant input, all the Toyota haters might as well post a canned response of "I'm racist against Japanese and therefore disapprove any Toyota news item." Would save yourself time.

      Ferarri isn't exactly spotless in F1. Oh, but I'm sure Schumacher "nudging" cars overtaking him were all accidental.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Don:"ollowing a long, drawn out process, two former Scuderia Ferrari engineers, who stood accused of stealing secrets from Maranello and *giving them to rivals at Toyota F1*"

      Is there something you know about this that you aren't telling us about?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Everyone cheats in racing, remember BAR Honda extra fuel tank?
      Toyota F1 program sucks and they deserve to be bashed for all the money they put in with zero results. Whomever hired their lame ass F1 driver's-Half Scumacher and Jaro Trulli should be fired.
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