As fast as tarmac and competing drivers can vanish behind you in Formula One racing, so can the unfortunate events of the past. In some cases, anyway. Flavio Briatore may still be banned from the sport due to his involvement in the Crashgate debacle, but Mike Coughlan is making short business of putting his scandal behind him, and returning to F1 racing in a big way.
Racing fans on either side of the Atlantic may be familiar with the name Mike Coughlan. The controversial engineer was at the heart of the Spygate scandal between the McLaren and Ferrari teams a few years back and was subsequently ejected from Formula One. While he was waiting for his banishment to expire, he came over to the U.S. where he was working for Michael Waltrip Racing in NASCAR. But as soon as his sentence was up, he was back in F1 with the Williams team. Trouble is, his contract with
As far as racing disciplines go, Formula One and NASCAR are about as different as can be. They run entirely different kinds of cars, on different kinds of tracks, for different types of fans, from garages on opposite sides of the Atlantic. Recent years have seen a handful of F1 drivers trying their hand at stock car racing, but the latest clash of civilizations is set to play itself out not on the race track, but in the court room.
Mike Coughlan hit a pretty nasty bump in his Formula One career. Coughlan was the chief designer for the McLaren F1 team from 2002 through 2007, but it was that last year with McLaren for which Coughlan is remembered, when he was caught possessing technical documents from rival Ferrari. The F1 affair became known as Spygate, and Mike Coughlan was suspended from the sport for two years. McLaren took a major hit as well, when it was stripped of all that season's constructors points and fined $100,
The ebb and flow of Formula One teams typically works in a cyclical fashion. Teams rise and fall like so many world powers across the course of history. But while Williams was once a championship front-running team, it's been years since they've been on the top.