FIA warns against working with Stepney

The FIA will take no formal steps against Nigel Stepney but has warned motorsport teams from collaborating with the former Ferrari engineer until the summer of 2009

FIA warns against working with Stepney

Stepney is under police investigation in Italy, on suspicions that he gave confidential Ferrari information to rivals McLaren while he was employed at Maranello.

The affair led the FIA to exclude McLaren from the 2007 constructors' championship and fine the squad with $100 million USD.

The governing body further said its legal department would meet with Stepney and make a decision on his future in motorsport as well.

But instead, the FIA said on Friday it was not in a position to officially ban Stepney from motorsport - only to recommend to teams that they consider carefully whether or not to collaborate with the Briton.

A statement released by the FIA on Friday night said: "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."

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