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Stepney Escapes FIA Banishment

Stepney Escapes FIA Banishment

FIA - 2007 Chinese Grand PrixA press release from the FIA late this evening outlines the consequences from a meeting they had with ex-Ferrari employee, Nigel Stepney. Stepney was key in the so-called Stepneygate saga, supposedly releasing details of the Ferrari car and team procedures to Mike Coughlan of McLaren. Although Stepney was since fired from the Italian organisation, he was brought forward to explain to the FIA why he shouldn’t be banned from international motor sport in the future.

The FIA have decided to not ban Stepney, but instead have issued a warning to all teams about working with the man. Stepney has recently got a job that isn’t directly involved in Formula One – working with Gigawave – a company that deals with the cameras mounted on all sorts of things including F1 cars.

In its investigations of last year regarding the unauthorised use of intellectual property within Formula One, the FIA heard allegations that Mr Nigel Stepney, then employed by Ferrari, had passed confidential Ferrari information to an employee of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.

Mr Stepney has admitted this allegation and apologised to the FIA, though he disputes the seriousness and extent of his involvement.

As Mr Stepney is not a licence-holder of the FIA, no formal action may be taken against him under the International Sporting Code (though the FIA is co-operating with the Italian police, who are investigating Mr. Stepney’s actions).

As a matter of good order, the FIA recommends to its licensees that they do not professionally collaborate with Mr Stepney without conducting appropriate due diligence regarding his suitability for involvement in international motor sport.

This recommendation stands until 1 July 2009. FIA Statement.

Is anyone going to take bets on how long it will be before we see Stepney in the paddock again?

Oliver White

3 comments

  • Hmm, so they can’t ban him from working with an F1 team so instead they threaten punishment for any F1 team working with him – which has the same end result.

    Presumably they are taking this action as they don’t believe he can be trusted to work within F1 again – so what happens in July 2009, will he suddenly change into a trustworthy person again? He will be the same man so setting a date after which he would be welcomed back with open arms seems a strange one to me.

    I’d quite like to see someone like Red Bull or Force India take Stepney on now just to see what Max does about it!

  • I wonder if we will get the full text of the discussions as we did with McLaren and Renault.

    I feel that if we did there would be many big black squares covering the sections where he explained how much he knew about where the bodies were buried.

  • I would have thought that Stepney’s career is tarnished. If any F1 team hires him in the future, even after 2009, it will be a provocative decision. I would have thought you’d see a backlash similar to what is happening with Dwain Chambers at the moment.

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