Nigel Stepney’s version of facts 

Written by David on July 08th, 2007 at 8:34 amLast Update: July 08th, 2007 at 10:34 am

Nigel Stepney’s version of the facts“The first sign of a potential problem came in September last year when Ross Brawn said he would be taking a sabbatical and the technical management structure would be changing. I wanted to report to Aldo Costa, the head of chassis design. He was the right person to respond to. I didn’t want to respond to Mario Almondo, the new technical director. “By mid February, the relationship had started to break down. I couldn’t work with them. I missed the one-to-one relationship with Ross. He knew exactly what I could do; I always had 100 per cent support from Ross. Now I had four or five people to report to. It was very frustrating.”

“I told Jean Todt I didn’t want to travel any more. I wanted to sit back and consider the future. Ferrari took that badly. My role became head of performance development based at the factory. I began to feel like I was some sort of traitor, just because I no longer wanted to travel. At that stage, I wasn’t looking anywhere else. But whenever I discussed anything with people in the factory in the course of doing my job, it got fed back to senior management. People became scared to talk to me. I was put in a position where it was difficult to do my job. By the end of March the situation was unbearable.”

“I started to look at other teams, and approached [Honda team chief] Nick Fry. I met up with Mike [Coughlan] at the end of April. I’d had one meeting with Nick and didn’t want to go into a second one alone. At first, Mike wasn’t looking at a move, although he was unhappy with the McLaren management. Then, three or four people at Ferrari indicated to me, after reading stories of my approach to Honda, that they would be interested in joining a technical group to go to another team. They wanted to follow us to go into a structure in which they felt comfortable.”

“I categorically deny that any technical information passed between Mike and I during that meeting, or at any time. We mainly discussed the sort of infrastructure and tools we would need to get the job done in another team. I saw the future as helping to put such a structure into place at Honda. You don’t just take one team’s structure and bang it into another team. These things have to evolve, but Mike and I agreed to pool our expertise and talked about what we could bring to a team. Then we met Nick Fry together on 1 June at Heathrow. On 17 May, when there were legal moves against me by Ferrari, people were taken from the factory to the Carabinieri (Italian police) headquarters to be interviewed, but no charges were made against anyone”.

“My house in Serramazzoni has been raided twice. After the thing with the Carabinieri, I called Jean Todt to say I was going on holiday to the Philippines – I’d filled in the relevant form but it was on my desk and I hadn’t handed it in – and wouldn’t be coming back until this was all sorted out. We haven’t spoken since. I admit it looks blatantly obvious, but something is happening inside Ferrari.”

Mario Almondo

“I was accused by Mario Almondo of taking some drawings. I had them in my possession legitimately because I needed them for work on the simulator, but it was reported to him by the drawing office that I had them. I got the papers and threw them on Almondo’s desk. The next day they were back on mine! I categorically deny that I copied them, or that I sent them to Mike Coughlan. I knew I was being watched all the time at the factory and that everything I did or said was being reported back and that people knew whenever I accessed files on the computer. I have no idea how anything came into Mike’s possession. I don’t even know for sure that he has had documents. Do you know for sure? Categorically, he didn’t get them from me. If he has some, then they came from another source. I would be a bit stupid to go anywhere if I had such material, wouldn’t I? I put a lot of the systems and working practices in place at Ferrari, relating to the operations of the test and race teams and the preparation of the cars, information I am told was supposed to be in the documents”.

Aldo Costa

I had worked on them with Ross and Aldo Costa. So if I already had all that material in my head, why would I need it all again? I am seriously doubtful that Mike has these documents. I have nothing to hide; I might as well have left the keys to my house with the caretaker so anyone from Ferrari could go in. Ferrari is terrified that what I have in my mind is valuable. I guess I know where the bodies are buried from the last ten years; and there were a lot of controversies in that time”.

Nicholas Tombazis

“But do you think (chief designer) Nicolas Tombazis came to Ferrari from McLaren without something in his mind? The new Ferrari front end aero came from McLaren, because it was in his head”.

“I’m just a bit confused. I was never a yes man and as soon as I went against the system at Ferrari, I got squeezed. I started to get the blame for things, and began to feel framed. I have been accused, but have not been charged with anything; right now, there is just an investigation. But I feel like I am in the wilderness. Ferrari is unique in Italy; it’s a religion. If you go against it, it’s like going against the Vatican. I’m anxious, naturally, but I haven’t done anything wrong and I believe in the legal system in Italy.”

Source: autosport

One Comment

  1. aril says:

    i belive his spoke the true or maybe not…difficult to judge. Let court judge it

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