Coughlan confided with several colleagues 

Written by David on July 14th, 2007 at 8:19 pmLast Update: July 14th, 2007 at 8:19 pm

Mike Coughlan McLaren’s Chief Designer suspendedMcLaren chief designer Mike Coughlan has confided with several of his team colleagues about secret Ferrari documents in his possession, according to a report in Italy today. The Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica quotes from what it claims to be Coughlan’s affidavit, which was handed to Ferrari on Wednesday as part of the team’s legal proceedings in England.

The affidavit was provided to Ferrari under condition that they will not hand it over to the Italian authorities, who are currently running a criminal investigation on related matters. Moreover, only Ferrari and the FIA are understood to have had access to the affidavit, which is not even available in the London High Court records.

According to La Repubblica, Coughlan confirms in his affidavit that he had Ferrari’s technical drawings and internal documentation in his possession. Coughlan also allegedly reveals that he showed these documents to several people at McLaren – and not just to managing director Jonathan Neale, as had previously been known. Again, according to the Italian newspaper, Coughlan states that all McLaren employees responded in the same manner, by distancing themselves from these documents and advising him to destroy them. Furthermore, Coughlan has reportedly not confirmed that his source for the documents was indeed ex-Ferrari engineer Nigel Stepney, and the newspaper only cites Coughlan as saying he received the documents via an express courier mail service.

The extent of the knowledge of Coughlan’s activities inside McLaren is still uncertain, with even Ferrari admitting they are not yet sure who within the team knew about it. Ferrari lawyer Massimiliano Maestretti told RAI television that there is still some uncertainty regarding who knew about the documents and just when some of them were delivered to Coughlan. “We don’t know what Neale’s role is, but we know he was aware Coughlan had the documents and he likely saw part of those documents,” said Maestretti. The McLaren statement mentioned the documents were received at the end of April, but we have proof that there were more later than that with a May date.”

Source: autosport

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