Nigel Stepney linked to Ferrari Monaco sabotage 

Written by David on September 05th, 2007 at 7:20 pmLast Update: September 05th, 2007 at 7:20 pm

Nigel Stepney espionage scandal house searched againFormer Ferrari engineer Nigel Stepney is linked to the attempted sabotage of cars before May’s Monaco Grand Prix, an Italian prosecutor has said. Ferrari have taken Stepney to court in their home town of Modena after a mysterious powder was allegedly found around the petrol caps of their cars days before the race. Powder also turned up in Stepney’s pocket but the Briton has said he was set up. Modena prosecutor Giuseppe Tibis has completed his file on the case and believes there is evidence against Stepney.

“Certainly from sworn testimony the suspicion exists that it was Stepney who handled the powder that has polluted the petrol,” he was quoted as saying in Italian media on Wednesday.

The case will now proceed following the court’s August break. Stepney has also been accused of passing Ferrari information to McLaren chief designer Mike Coughlan, who has been suspended. The International Automobile Federation (FIA) ruled that although McLaren had Ferrari data in their possession, there was insufficient evidence that they had gained any benefit from it, therefore no penalty was imposed. However, the FIA announced last month there would be an appeal heard on September 13.

World championship leaders McLaren risk exclusion from the championship while Stepney and Coughlan may also face bans. Stepney has continued to protest his innocence regarding the Formula One spying controversy.

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