• Oct 5, 2010


It's been over three years since the start of Stepneygate. But while the matter was supposedly closed a year ago, it's only now that the namesake perpetrator has been sentenced in criminal court.

The scandal, for those unfamiliar, centered around one Nigel Stepney, a British engineer who defected from Ferrari to McLaren in 2007. Stepney stood accused – and now convicted – of taking trade secrets with him from Maranello to Woking, while sabotaging Ferrari's team in the process.

The scandal resulted in McLaren being fined $100 million and then disqualified from that year's championship. Meanwhile, the FIA banned Stepney (along with his chief cohort Mike Coughlan) from any series it supervises (which is pretty much all of them) as Ferrari initiated legal proceedings against Stepney.

Those proceedings have now drawn to a close, Italian courts reportedly sentencing Stepney to 20 months in prison and – wait for it – a 600-euro fine. However, sources anticipate that due to the nature of the Italian legal system the sentence will likely be suspended and that Stepney won't actually spend a single night behind bars.

[Source: Autosport]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 7 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Italian courts are one place non-Italians never want to find themselves in.
      • 4 Years Ago
      As well it should. Seems to be a civil matter rather than a criminal matter.
      If Ferrari weren't such an icon in Italy, it would have ended a lot sooner.

      Now, about the loud sucking sound from the East....that would be CHINA stealing every bit of technology it can get its hands on. THAT'S criminal.
        • 4 Years Ago
        +1 in another 10 years or so you will see them roll out tech high end that are shameless copies of western stuff. I'm not just talking about cars, it will be everything.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Autoblog, you should stick to reporting on cars because when it comes to F1, it's obvious you guys really are not sure what you're talking about.

      Nigel Stepney never worked for McLaren, nor did he defect to McLaren.
      • 4 Years Ago
      What sentenced to 20 month in prison yet not actually going in? Is it on probation then or is he a buddy of Berlusconi and he changed the law for him?

      Gotta love Italy.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Got family there and it's the most corrupt country in the E.U..