Police Expand Ferrari Espionage Investigation

Three former Ferrari employees are under investigation for alleged industrial espionage, as Italian police continue to investigate suspicions that Formula One design details were stolen from Ferrari headquarters.

Police Expand Ferrari Espionage Investigation

Three former Ferrari employees are under investigation for alleged industrial espionage, as Italian police continue to investigate suspicions that Formula One design details were stolen from Ferrari headquarters.

An employee of the aerodynamics department at Toyota was questioned last week as part of the investigation, and Italian detectives, backed up by German police, visited his office at the Toyota Formula One factory in Cologne, Germany.

The man, Italian Angelo Santini, had previously worked for World Champions Ferrari and had allegedly passed on confidential information from the Italian to the Japanese squad.

Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper further reports today that the police are also investigating Italians Mauro Iacconi and Antonio Tendorio, both formerly employed by Ferrari.

Iacconi, a former Ferrari engineer, is the owner of Aerolab, a Modena-based company which manufactures precision components, and are also building a wind tunnel in Sant'Agata Bolognese. Wind tunnels are commonly used in Formula One.

On Monday, the Italian police searched Aerolab's factory and confiscated technical material and digital storage units.

Modena's assistant district attorney Manfredi Luongo has appointed Magistrate Fausto Casari as head of the investigation. However, there are no formal charges as yet as Casari is waiting for the police to analyze the confiscated material.

Toyota, meanwhile, said they were unconcerned about the investigation. "We were of course a bit surprised at the arrival of the police," John Howett, president of Toyota Motorsport GmbH, told Gazzetta dello Sport. "The police has usually nothing to do with our job. There is full cooperation from our part, just like from our employee.

"We are waiting for the results of the investigation, but from what we have understood, at least so far, there is nothing we, as Toyota, should worry about. And as things stand, at least at the moment, our designer has nothing to worry about either. Work goes on as usual here.

"We are now concentrating on building the new F1 car and on next season. But we will of course continue, if necessary, to fully cooperate with the investigation."

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