Stepney and Coughlan approached Honda Racing 

Written by David on July 06th, 2007 at 9:20 pmLast Update: February 17th, 2008 at 1:28 pm

Nick Fry Chief Executive Officer of the Honda Racing F1 TeamThe Japanese Team confirmed in a statement that Nigel Stepney and Mike Coughlan had requested and had obtained a meeting with Nick Fry earlier this year. “They approached us but at no point during this meeting was any confidential information offered or received”.

A third team joins the espionage case between Ferrari and McLaren. Ron Dennis, McLaren’s Team Principal, Chairman and CEO, was the first one speaking of this matter during todays’ Press Conference at Silverstone; Dennis, earlier today had a meeting with Bernie Ecclestone, Jean Todt and FIA’s President, Max Mosley. But Ron Dennis, haven’t disclosed any names, even if Honda’s name was spreading with insistence in the paddocks. According to Auto Motor und Sport, a german news press, Nigel Stepney would have offered inside informations even to Honda but the latter would have refused. Moreover, in Silverstone’s paddock, rumors were saying that Mike Coughlan, suspended from McLaren for being involved in a Ferrari investigation, was ready to work for Honda. Auto Motor und Sport wrote that the two engineers were collecting as much informations as they could in order to pass them to Honda.

Honda’s answer – The reaction of the Japanese Team was immediate. “Given the speculation surrounding the legal investigations at Ferrari and McLaren, the Honda Racing F1 Team would like to clarify that earlier this year Nigel Stepney, formerly of Scuderia Ferrari, requested a meeting with Nick Fry, Chief Executive Officer of the Honda Racing F1 Team,” said the team in a statement. “Nigel Stepney subsequently met in June of this year with Nick Fry and brought with him Mike Coughlan of McLaren, with a view to investigating job opportunities within the Honda Racing F1 Team. Honda would like to stress that at no point during this meeting was any confidential information offered or received. Nick Fry informed Jean Todt and Ron Dennis of the meeting and has offered to provide any information required by Ferrari and McLaren”.

Honda F1 racing Team 2007

Ron Dennis: “We’re collaborating” – Ron Dennis, stated: “There is a third team involved in the case, I don’t want and I can’t go down into details, we are collaborating with FIA and at the same time with Ferrari giving as much as we can and in full transparency. It will take time to understand that we haven’t used other teams’ projects or ideas, but in the end the truth will emerge. We are honest, correct, as people and as a team. It is a complex situation, in the future we want to find methods and procedures that will allow us to compete loyally and without suspicions. McLaren is a big part of my life. I’m really disappointed but i can’t control everyone in the Team at the same time. Our inside, independent investigation, has explicitly demonstrated that we have never used others’ intellectual property and we offered a detailed and complete technical report to FIA that absolves us. I know that Jean Todt is concerned, I understand him, it’s a painful experience for me but we will come out of it”.

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