The two-year-old Stepneygate saga – long and complex enough to rival any of the Icelandic sagas – is finally over. A court in Modena, Italy has smacked four McLaren employees with six-figure fines: senior engineers Rod Taylor, Jonathan Neale, and Paddy Lowe are on the hook for €150,000 each (around $190,000 USD); chief designer Mike Coughlan got hit with a €180,000 fine (nearly $230,000).
Wired has posted a lengthy and thorough dissection of what really happened in last year's Stepneygate F1 scandal. The affair turned Ferrari an even more scarlet red, sucked $100,000,000 from McLaren's bank account and eliminated the team from the constructor's championship, ended the F1 careers of two F1 honchos, and possibly ended Ron Dennis' marriage.
During the Stepneygate scandal over the course of the 2007 Formula 1 season, more than one critic accused the FIA of being on a witch hunt against McLaren. Based on what McLaren said it knew, and what the FIA said it knew, it looked to many like the governing body was simply doing everything possible to put Ferrari in the Championship lead. When the $100,000,000 penalty was given to McLaren, some folks were aghast.
We're going to call this one a rumor for at least a little while, but wow. We just got wind of this monster deal that would really cause a major stir in the already tumultuous world of Formula One. News of the World just reported that two-time world driving champion Fernando Alonso is leaving McLaren-Mercedes next year. While that was considered a sure thing in the wake of Stepneygate and all, the real shocker is that he isn't headed to Renault to be reunited with Flavio Briatore as expected. In
The ongoing "Stepneygate" espionage scandal that has embroiled Formula 1 this summer has drawn to a conclusion (for the time being, at least), and the World Motor Sport Council has meted out some severe punishment. McLaren F1 has been stripped of all its constructors' championship points for the 2007 season and fined $100,000,000 USD -- a record amount. This puts Ferrari in the points lead and makes them the probable champions this year. The BBC also reports that McLaren must prove that none of
In case you're trying to get up to speed on the whole Formula One espionage case, we were tipped by our buddy Jay that GrandPrix.com has a pretty good summary. Although much of what we've reported already is about the FIA hearings, this gives a pretty good outline of the events behind the case and a timeline of sorts so you can get the whole mess straight in your head -- if you're so inclined.