Stepney, Coughlan restrictions lifted

The FIA has lifted the restrictions imposed on Nigel Stepney and Mike Coughlan following the 2007 espionage case, president Max Mosley has revealed

Stepney, Coughlan restrictions lifted

Although the governing body could not impose formal punishment against the pair over their involvement in the 2007 spy case between McLaren and Ferrari, it did recommend to its licence holders that they should be wary of working with either of them until July 2009.

Mosley has said now, however, that following a request from the lawyers of one of the two men that it would lift any restrictions.

"The other day we got a letter from the lawyers of one of them saying he has got this restriction and this restriction, and it does seem a little bit mad to make them serve out even longer when the two teams concerned are all making love to each other," Mosley explained. "So, we have said we will let them forget it.

"In the end they were just very minor players. If the full story came out, they are two minor players and there are people who are not minor players. But the full story will probably never come out."

McLaren were fined $100 million and excluded from the 2007 constructors' championship over the affair, while both Stepney and Coughlan were fired from their respective teams.

Mosley insisted the penalty McLaren got was modest compared to what could have been.

"Why they got fined a lot is that because to begin with they said that nobody knew, and it was just him (Coughlan)," Mosley added. "Then it came out that more people in the company were involved than they had admitted, and although the fine sounds huge the real penalty was exclusion from the championship.

"That would have been the logical penalty, and a penalty that no one would have disputed amongst the public. You have got all the technical information from one of the other teams unlawfully - so you are out of the championship. If we had done that, it would have cost McLaren far more than $100 million, it might even have put them out of business.

"The reality was actually what they got was relatively modest. It is just that people can understand $100 million is a lot of money, they don't understand the consequences for a team like McLaren if they had been excluded from the championship.

"I have to say, not because I am anti-McLaren but from a purely legal point, I would have excluded them - but the majority of the world council preferred the fine."

Stepney returned to work as Director of Race Technologies at on-board camera company Gigawave, now cooperating with the Superleague series.

Coughlan is now working for Ricardo Transmissions, the largest transmission engineering and design consultancy in the UK.

shares
comments
Sato still determined to return to F1
Previous article

Sato still determined to return to F1

Next article

Mosley 'knows' who set him up

Mosley 'knows' who set him up
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022