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Dennis Receives Formal Notice Of Investigation From Police

Dennis Receives Formal Notice Of Investigation From Police

McLaren Motorhome - 2007 British Grand PrixIt is believed that McLaren team boss Ron Dennis was paid a visit this afternoon by the Italian authorities while debriefing from the qualifying session that saw his two cars lock out the front of the grid for tomorrows Grand Prix. The notice received by Dennis is an official warning that he will be investigated by criminal prosecutors into the alleged case of sporting fraud, industrial espionage and embezzlement.

It is also believed that McLaren CEO Martin Whitmarsh and Managing Director Jonathan Neale received the same notification. Mike Coughlan and two other employees of McLaren are due to receive their warnings at the teams headquarters in Woking later today. Ex-Ferrari employee and central to the saga, Nigel Stepney, is the final person involved to get one.

Those involved from McLaren have been advised to say nothing regarding the matter, but clearly the Stepneygate saga has turned into a criminal investigation that could lead to jail terms should these employee be found guilty. The meeting that will decide the fate of the British team regarding the championship will be held in Paris next Thursday, and understandably the team are nervous.

Unfortunately, whatever happens next week could not only affect the team, but also me and Fernando. Obviously we’re all concerned. Lewis Hamilton.

This article is speculative, and Dennis is quoted as saying that this hasn’t happened yet. However, he didn’t rule it out entirely, saying: “Maybe it’s going to happen, but it hasn’t yet.”

Formula One, F1, McLaren, Ferrari, Nigel Stepney, Mike Coughlan, Ron Dennis, Martin Whitmarsh, Jonathan Neale

Oliver White

5 comments

  • This is getting a bit out of hand now – crazy!

    Brings back memories of the trouble Williams got into in ’94 after Senna’s untimely death in one of their cars.

  • according to grandprix.com they’ve only been issued a notification, and not yet in person, and even that is pretty much meaningless:

    “This means very little as the police must now investigate the claims being made and decide whether there is a case with which to proceed.”

  • According to Pitpass, the notices have not been served to McLaren as of yet. Rather, the individuals have been notified that this is likely to happen and the notices are being prepared.

    @Craig: You are correct, this is getting crazy. But unfortunately, F1 is crazy these days. (I feel a post coming on so I’ll stop typing now.)

    @sidepodcast: Indeed correct, and other news agencies have now reported similar. Although it pretty much is meaningless in itself, it is likely to happen. Whether anything comes of it is neither here nor there. What is very likely is that they are now being criminally investigated. I’m gonna take a politically incorrect stab-in-the-dark though and say that if McLaren are let off on Thursday, the investigation gets forgotten about. If the original decision is reversed, a ton of bricks will fall on Dennis et al.

  • Did anyone notice the embezzlement charge sneaking in? I cannot remember any point prior to this where Ron Dennis was suspected by this – from any of the organisations investigating the McLaren/Ferrari problem. I refuse to call it “spygate” because the problem appears to be considerably more complex than that.

  • The original report stated that embezzlement was one of three possible charges the authorities were going to investigate. However, since then it appears to have been quietly dropped and now stands at sporting fraud and industrial espionage. Who knows what is really happening behind the closed doors. One thing is for sure though, this is going to be one of Ron’s tougher weeks.

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