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[ISN] Nigel Stepney looks to change track after spy admission
By Edward Gorman
Motor Racing Correspondent
January 21, 2008
Nigel Stepney, the former Ferrari mechanic who sparked the Ferrari/
McLaren Mercedes espionage scandal last year, has admitted that he
handed information to McLaren, but did not imagine that it would be used
by the Woking-based team to the degree that it was.
Stepney, who is the subject of legal proceedings in Italy over
allegations that he gave a large dossier of Ferrari secret technical
information to McLaren, also said that he does not wish to return to
Formula One, but hopes to work elsewhere in motor sport. I dont feel
responsible in anyway for what happened at McLaren, Stepney said in an
interview due to be transmitted on Sky Sports World Motor Sport show
this evening. My original [intention], or my ideas, were to make contact
with somebody, but not to benefit [myself]; it was to talk about and see
what I could do somewhere else with a group of people.
Obviously it got a bit sensitive and somebody used information more than
I actually thought it [should have been] or not more than it should have
been, it should never have been used . . . to that extreme.
Stepneys remarks, in his first British television interview since he was
sacked by Ferrari, confirm that one of the reasons he made contact with
Mike Coughlan, the disgraced former design director at McLaren, was
because they were both planning to leave their teams and move to a new
employer, widely thought to have been Honda.
The British mechanic said that the intention was to put a group of
people together and talk. As for himself, he said: I think, at the end
of this year or at the end of 2007, I was looking to get out of Ferrari
anyway; whether it was going to be in Formula One I wasnt quite sure. I
think Formula One was going away from a direction I really wanted to go.
Stepney said that he hopes to be back working in the sport, but not
Formula One, this year. Ive got a lot of other more interesting
opportunities going back into . . . the grass roots of motor racing, he
said. Dont get me wrong, Formula One Ive worked in for many years, Ive
enjoyed it, Ive made a living out of it, its been a very good experience
in life, but I think I . . . prefer to go into a sort of a grassroots
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