Стенограмма заседания Всемирного Совета ФИА 26 июля

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Extraordinary Meeting of The World Motor Sport Council

Before proceeding with the meeting, I would like to ensure that you agree to the agenda.
(No objections are voiced.)
The McLaren team has objected to the presence of Ferrari. We will deal with that in a moment.
The plan for the moment is that no one connected with Ferrari should vote on the McLaren matter:
this means that Mr Isoart will not, on that matter, exercise Mr Piccinini’s vote.
We must also bear in mind that no one on the Manufacturer’s Commission may have a vote on
Formula 1 matters. The fact that Mr Cornelis has given his proxy does not affect the vote, in that
the vote cannot be exercised. Apart from that, twenty people are present today, including deputies.
We have five proxies and two people joining by video and telephone. Is this satisfactory?
(General consent is given.)
Let us then proceed to Item II. Please bring in the various lawyers and people.
(It is ascertained that Nick Craw has joined the event by teleconference and Garry Connelly by
Two seats at the table have been set aside for McLaren, and two for Ferrari, for the time being.
Other advisors and assistants are asked to sit behind them. Further members from the team may be
seated at the end of the table.
McLaren has objected to the presence of Ferrari and, by implication, to the presence of other teams.
We like to operate on the basis of complete transparency. If you wish to press that point, you are
absolutely free to do so. We will hear your comments, then consider them in closed session.
Our position is the following: subject to the way you wish to handle the matter, we propose to
present our case to the Council. For that purpose, we are entirely content for observers of other
teams and representatives of Ferrari to be present. I do not plan, as part of my presentation, to say
anything that would cause embarrassment with regard to McLaren’s own confidentiality. In
particular, thereafter, if you or other Council members have questions for myself, Ron DENNIS or
Mr Neale that might involve going into issues of confidential information, then on a piece-by-piece
basis, we may consider whether it is necessary to ask for certain people to leave the room. Our
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 2
papers include one document not yet handed out to everybody. It is highly-confidential and I
would not propose to share that document with Ferrari, subject to the view of the Council.
That fits perfectly with what we had in mind. It seemed clear to us that, should something arise that
was confidential to anyone, we would have to request that those parties absent themselves. In most
of what we are doing, however, the more open and transparent, the better.
We are entirely in agreement with this.
There was one another preliminary point: the jurisdiction. It is up to you to deal with the case as
you wish.
We do not wish to be difficult by any means. To understand the case against us, we had to look at
this from the procedural standpoint and wanted to draw to the attention of the World Motor Sport
Council that, as we perceive the terms of the International Sporting Code itself and the FIA statutes
which we subsequently looked at, it is not entirely apparent where this Council derives its
jurisdiction to charge my client in this matter.
Our thoughts with regard to the Code itself are by reference to Article 152, which in its second
paragraph suggests that those who impose sanctions for breaches of the Code stewards of the
meeting or the relevant ASN. In that regard, we do not see anything in the Code itself. In the
Statutes, we saw in Article 16.1 that one of the roles of the World Motor Sport Council is to enforce
the International Sporting Code. It may be on that basis that the Council considers that it has the
jurisdiction to deal with this. I read that to mean that the Council would be responsible for ensuring
that it would be enforced in accordance with its terms.
We do not want to be difficult with tie Council, but we do feel that it is appropriate, not only for
today, but perhaps moving forward and generally, that there be clarity on this. If the Council has
satisfied itself that it has jurisdiction, then we do not want to debate the point any further. We
thought it appropriate to draw the point to everyone’s attention because it was a matter of concern
to us.
That is very helpful. We rely on Article 27 of the Statutes, in the paragraph immediately under
reads: “In addition, The World Motor Sport Council may directly impose the sanctions provided for
in the International Sporting Code, and where appropriate, the World Council on Automobile. That
is not actually relevant. This is found on page 291.
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Paris, 26 July 2007 3
This is fine.
I should make two general points. We are the world governing body of the sport. It is inherent, in
the jurisdiction of such a body, that we should enforce the rules of the sport. On that basis, we
would claim that there is inherent jurisdiction in the World Motor Sport Council. Furthermore, the
point is entirely academic, in the end, for if everyone wished to do so, we could simply seize the
stewards of the meeting with the issue, then using Article 152 , bring the matter before the World
Sport Council if we were not satisfied with the action of the stewards. The point is completely
academic in our view.
I understand and do not want to debate the issue further.
I completely understand why you wished to bring this up.
I had one further preliminary matter.
The documents arrived with the FIA in three stages and I wanted to make sure that everyone had
received them. Last Friday, we sent out our response to the international governing body, in the
form of the Statement of Facts and supporting documentation. On Tuesday, we handed in our legal
submissions with attachments. Lastly, yesterday, we sent in our response to what we have termed
the “Ferrari Memorandum”, the Ferrari document that forms part of the dossier which everyone has
received. I hope that we can proceed on the basis that everyone has received all of those documents
and, in particular, the document most recently promulgated.
Yes, to the best of our knowledge.
Regarding the last document, the tone of which was somewhat outraged. Yet we must make it clear
that the Council will not take particular account of either the Ferrari Memorandum or the response.
On the one side, Ferrari is naturally very irritated that their documents have ended up with
McLaren, and your clients are understandably irritated by the document that Ferrari produced. We
will look solely at the evidence, i.e., regarding Mr Coughlan, etc.
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 4
Excuse me, Mr President. The documents never arrived at McLaren. You stated that they did, but
they have never been at McLaren. I am quite sensitive to this.
This will probably be the main point in our discussion. Everything will be dealt with in due time.
I would also add that this is not a Court of Law, still less is it a criminal court. Our proceedings
tend to be fairly informal, but we try to use every possible means to be completely fair to everyone.
As part of this, should evidence emerge in the future or at some time, calling into question what we
are told today, we would reserve the right – and have the right — to bring this all before the
Council once again for further consideration. It is thus very important that, if there is anything else
we ought to know, we be told it at the beginning. Clearly, it is much worse if such matters are
unturned later, during the course of the proceedings or later..
That is, obviously, understood. Your Question 37 specifically asked whether we felt that, in the
interest of motor sport, something further should be disclosed. I hope that, from the documents that
we filed, everyone has been able to appreciate the steps that McLaren has taken to be open and
transparent and complete in its investigation of this matter.
The Council can take it that we have put everything before the Council which we felt was relevant
and that we have not withheld anything that we consider to be material. If it is said that something
might arise during the course of the proceedings (I am obviously not anticipating that any fresh
allegations will be made against my client today, as that would be against any form of due process)
but if something arises at some point in the future, your statement holds true and we have fully
taken that into account today.
One final point, before I invite you to begin.
I must apologise for the late arrival of the dossier. The plan was to distribute a complete dossier,
including the McLaren submissions and the answers to the thirty-seven questions on Friday last.
Some parties are as far afield as New Zealand and would have been able to read them before
arriving. The dossier was sent to the Council, but someone in the office decided that, as we did not
have the McLaren items, we should not address it to McLaren. There was a form of logical fallacy
therein, for the only team not requiring McLaren items was McLaren itself. However, it was not
until Tuesday that I found out it had not been sent out and we gave orders for it to be done
immediately. I apologise for that, as it is very inconvenient to be given papers at the last moment.
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 5
We apologise also, for having had to provide papers at various stages. You will appreciate that we
had to do a great deal of work very quickly, in order to answer the 37 questions and complete our
investigations. You will have seen, in particular, that the IT investigation, for which we called on
an external consultant, was only concluded at a time that enabled us to put in our response when we
did. It had not been possible to interrogate and access all of the relevant materials at an earlier
In such meetings, we usually state that Council has read all relevant documents, then invite the
person appearing before the Council to make any further submissions, if so desired. It is up to you:
do you wish that we stop you at any point during your presentation, if we have questions, or only at
the end?
I welcome any questions at any stage; that will facilitate the process.
I give you the floor.
Ron Dennis and Mr Neale are both in attendance. They have given you statements, but are
obviously open to any questions you may have. I was going to suggest that questions of those two
might usefully await the end of my submissions, but if it is more convenient to interrupt, then that
may happen as well.
I think we will wait until the end of your presentation, unless something unusual happens.
It is entirely possible that, if a question is asked, it will more readily be answered by one of the
other two gentlemen.
Might I start by suggesting that, in substance, we are considering two quite separate sets of events.
The first has been characterised as events in the nature of “whistle-blowing” in and around the
Australian Grand Prix; secondly, the unsolicited, unauthorised provision by Mr Stepney to Mr
Coughlan of Ferrari’s private documents ,subsequently, at the end of April and potentially
thereafter. Those matters are quite separate and we propose to address them in like manner.
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 6
I propose to take the whistle-blowing shortly, for reasons perhaps obvious to everybody; if not, I
propose to make them obvious as I proceed. May I briefly tell you what we say the facts are. Mr
Stepney provided Mr Coughlan with certain information prior to the Australian Grand Prix’ taking
place in March 2007, suggesting that certain breaches of regulation might have been committed by
Ferrari, by reference to devices in its car, to be used at the Grand Prix in Australia. The details of
what was provided are set out in Paragraphs 8 to 14 in the Statement of Facts, which I believe you
have all read. You have also seen, in attachment to the Statement of Facts, the correspondence
between McLaren and the FIA that occurred in consequence and, in particular, a letter from Mr
Lowe to Mr Whiting. This is also something that Mr Coughlan himself refers to in Paragraph 18 of
his affidavit, which you have. In summary, what Mr Coughlan was told about by Mr Stepney was a
floor device which was indeed used by Ferrari in the Australian Grand Prix and subsequently held
to be illegal by the FIA. The other matter to which Mr Coughlan had his attention drawn was a rear
wing separator, apparent on the face of the Ferrari car from the moment it appeared in Australia.
This issue was taken up by Mr Lowe with Mr Whiting, and subsequently, the FIA, through Mr
Whiting, ruled that there was nothing illegal about it.
We say that Mr Stepney was bringing forward bona fide concerns he had that his employer was
breaching the rules of the sport. He chose, for reasons known to him, but not to me or any other
people in this room, to communicate those concerns via Mr Coughlan. He was in a whistle-blower,
“telling tales” or reporting on his own employer. In short, we feel that McLaren’s action in
response to this was entirely the right course of action, as was that of Mr Coughlan, in reporting it
within McLaren. The way in which McLaren dealt with it was the customary way. We did not
point the finger at Ferrari, as we could have. Instead, a very gentle letter was written by Mr Lowe,
pretending that this was something that McLaren was intending to do, requesting guidance as to
whether this was permissible. We could have been far more confrontational about this, but were
not. We would observe that neither the FIA, in response to what took place in March, nor Ferrari
asked us for the source of the information. It is worth bearing in mind that, by that time, it was
widely-stated in the press that Mr Stepney was the source of the information and was clearly
disaffected with Ferrari. It is entirely possible that Ferrari at least suspected that Mr Stepney was
the source of information. Be that as it may, even if the receipt of the whistle-blowing information
forms part of the charge, it cannot sensibly give rise to any liability. The charge you have read is a
charge of possession of material which could be used to design or enhance the performance of the
McLaren Formula 1 Car. That is a broad summary; the detail is much more specific, but that is the
sense of the assertion. How can this be said in relation to a floor device ruled illegal? How can this
be said in relation to a separator that is hardly confidential, when it is apparent on the face of the car
to anybody who looks at it. Furthermore, no criticism can be attached to McLaren in the sense of
something that might support a charge under Article 151C of the International Sporting Code.
How did anything we did constitute fraudulent conduct or conduct that might be prejudicial to the
interests of motor sport? It is surely in the interest of motor sport that those who are tempted to
breach the rules be found out. Whistle-blowing, at least in England, is something positively
endorsed. There are specific protections for employees who blow the whistle, because it is thought
that, under certain circumstances, where there are breaches of obligation or what is reasonably
thought to be so, that those who choose to bring forward such matter should be protected, in
particular by the non-disclosure of their identity. If there is to be any criticism, theoretical, the only
possible one is that we did not tell the FIA or Ferrari that Mr Stepney had provided the information.
With respect, that is not right, for that is not what McLaren ought to do. Mr Dennis thought long
and hard about the right response. He did take action, but did not disclose Mr Stepney’s identity.
This was entirely consistent with good practice, certainly as a matter of English law. I would
suggest to you that, if the FIA felt there was anything wrong with this, or thought it appropriate that
the source be disclosed, they would have asked, yet they did not.
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 7
What action was taken as a result of the whistle-blowing?
— Mr Neale, present, instructed Mr Coughlan not to have any such further contact with Mr
— Mr Dennis, secondly, sought and reached an agreement with Mr Todt on a way forward, as
indicated in his statement, in the form of a non-binding agreement between the teams as to
how to deal with possible concerns over regulations in the future.
— Subsequently, when Mr Neale found out that despite his instruction to Mr Coughlan, Mr
Stepney was continuing to make contact, he installed a firewall on Mr Coughlan’s computer
at work.
In summary, where whistle-blowing did occur, we took entirely appropriate action. However, we
did not want to encourage or facilitate it in the future, and thus sought to establish a limit. It was
not necessarily appropriate for Mr Stepney to be whistle-blowing to another team. In this instance,
it was McLaren, but it could have been another team. On the contrary, we took steps to ensure
reasonably that it did not happen in the future.
There have been other instances of whistle-blowing this year, at least one of which I am aware of:
Spiker launched a protest at the Malaysian Grand Prix, having evidence that the Scuderia Toro
Rosso car contained at least one part designed or manufactured by Red Bull Racing. The evidence
was a technical drawing which somebody had sent to them from Red Bull.. In the event, the
protection failed, for there are procedural actions ongoing and it was not deemed appropriate. In
another instance, a whistle-blower provided information and Spiker, the team involved, passed
information to the FIA. Correct me if I am wrong, but I am not aware that Spiker has been the
subject of any charge or inquiry as a result of their use of that confidential information. That is
entirely consistent with our position: if whistle-blowing takes place, action is taken on it. It is more
in the interest of the sport than contrary to it, so to do.
My final point is a technical one. As analysis of the charge, we took the view that it did not even
cover this event and so wrote to the FIA on 13 July, stating that we were proceeding on that basis.
We have had no response to this, saying that we were incorrect to act in that way. Irrespective of
this and whether the FIA did form part of the charge, it is one that readily ought to be dismissed.
May I now turn to a fresh chapter of events?
Other Council members undoubtedly have points to make. The first, immediate point is that, as the
term “whistle-blower” in commonly understood, it refers to one who complains to the authority, not
to a rival organisation.
That was the mode of communication. Clearly, Mr Stepney’s purpose was that it should find its
way to the authority. There was no other reason. I do not disagree with you, in that this was not
the appropriate course, but it does not change his being a whistle-blower.
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 8
This was, however, confidential information and the property of Ferrari, was it not?
This was given to McLaren, which used it to alert the FIA, but thought it not appropriate to take
any further step.
I have just indicated the steps that it took: to ensure that this did not happen again. We thought that
was the appropriate response. The only further step would have been to disclose to the FIA, and
perhaps to Ferrari, the identity of the whistle-blower. I repeat: had it been deemed appropriate, at
the FIA, to have the source disclosed, why did the FIA not ask us? If Ferrari had wanted to know…
Ferrari knew that the information had come from us. When Mr Whiting circulated the decision to
render the floor device illegal, he circulated, at our request, the letter that Mr Lowe had written.
That letter contained a drawing that clearly showed that the person drawing it, Mr Lowe, had had
access to the information. He could not have drawn it by looking at the car because part of it was
behind the plate. Ferrari knew that the information must have leaked from Ferrari. They did not
ask us. The only criticism potentially make is that we did not voluntarily disclose the identity. Is
this seriously conduct that is fraudulent? Is that seriously conduct that is prejudicial to the interest
of motor sport? What was prejudicial was the successful use of an illegal floor device, by Ferrari,
in the Australian Grand Prix, which it won – and an illegal floor device in respect of which we did
not lodge a protest.
Do you not think that an honest person, particularly one who enters into an agreement with the
other team that all will be open and transparent, would have said to the other team: “I think you
ought to know that a senior member of your organisation has been giving us confidential
The whistle-blowing took place before the document. The document originated from a public
argument between Jean Todt and Martin Whitmarsh. I witnessed this at a distance and thought it
was not particularly good for Formula 1 or for either of our teams. I wrote to Jean. He ultimately
came back to me, saying that it would be a good idea. The first document I submitted to Jean stated
that the obligations within it should be legally-binding. Jean asked that it not be so, and the latter is
the agreement we signed. One day or two after we entered that agreement, a cascade of inquiries
came to us from Ferrari, in my opinion and my engineers’ opinion, absolutely designed to
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 9
understand some aspects of our racing car. They were not challenging the legality of our racing
car, but were rather on a “fishing trip” regarding the purpose of certain components on the car.
Every one of those questions were answered by our engineers and we received a positive response
from the FIA, thanking us for answering them. If we are looking at the honesty and integrity of our
respective organizations, I offered a legally-binding document, without being asked to. It was
struck down and became non-binding with respect to the law. As soon as the document came into
effect, Ferrari went on a “fishing trip”, trying to understand a whole range of facts about our car.
We answered every single question and they were satisfied with the answer. In the end, there are
many examples of no one taking any action whatsoever when such occurrences come to light. I
took action and did so as I felt was appropriate.
Ron, you state that the document followed the whistle-blowing, which is undoubtedly so. Yet,
there was a man working in an organisation with which you had just entered or were entering an
agreement, and you did not think it appropriate to inform anyone.
If it had occurred subsequently to that matter, I would have. But it did not; it preceded that matter.
The matter had been dealt with by the FIA and professionally so. We did not accuse or protest
Ferrari and did involve the FIA, at a very early stage. We did not question the fact that the
subsequent ruling, after the Australian Grand Prix, was not brought to bear on the events of the
Australian Grand Prix.
At the time you entered the gentleman’s agreement, you were receiving a flow of information.
Not true. There was one piece of information. As far as I and my team were concerned, the
information at that point was the singular piece of information. I have no knowledge of any other
stream of information. Other than the actions of Jonathan, of which he kept me aware, we had no
knowledge at all about what was going on between Stepney and Ferrari.
I am referring to what was going on between Stepney and McLaren.
There was nothing going on between Stepney and McLaren.
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Paris, 26 July 2007 10
Why did you need to insert the firewall?
We took the necessary steps based on what had happened. Furthermore – we will come in detail to
the IT – when the firewall as inspected, subsequently and in the last month, there was nothing
upstream. Nothing had entered the company.
The further communications from Mr Stepney to Mr Coughlan consisted of disparagement of
Ferrari. There was no further confidential information. This is in Mr Neale’s statement. There is
no suggestion that any further confidential information was provided by Mr Stepney to McLaren
other than as disclosed by us and by Mr Coughlan in its affidavit. What was of concern to Mr
Neale, hence the installation of the firewall, was the clear disaffection on the part of Mr Stepney.
Mr Neale had stated that there should be no further communication with him. When Mr Coughlan
reported to him that Mr Stepney was still making disparaging comments about Ferrari, Mr Neale
went further and had the firewall installed.
The question you posed to Mr Dennis, with all due respect, was unfair. You suggest, “Wouldn’t an
honest man have disclosed it?” That is not a question appropriate to ask Mr Dennis in this
circumstance. The response to whistle-blowing must be a matter of judgement. For reasons I have
sought to articulate, there is a tremendous amount of protection, under English law, for whistleblowers,
including their identity. In my experience, what Mr Dennis and McLaren did was entirely
consistent with this, in not disclosing it.
If there were serious breaches of regulation taking place in another team and someone was planning
to blow the whistle, yet knew that, earlier in that year, under similar circumstances, a team had
blown the whistle on the identity of an informer, would that not discourage the dissemination of
important information? If Mr Stepney had disclose the information to the FIA, would the FIA not
have been obliged to tell Ferrari? Why should Ferrari be in a different position from McLaren?
McLaren was simply the conduit for the information. If the FIA had thought it was appropriate for
Ferrari to be told the source, the FIA could have told us and asked us to provide it. It did not.
That is not exactly how the matter is being put. Clearly, the FIA would not reveal the identity of a
whistle blower. In this case, confidential information flowed from Ferrari to McLaren, some used
and some not used. This raises a very strong inference that this was not the only information. It
would fit better with the suggestion that McLaren behaved impeccably, if Mr Dennis had, once the
friendly relationship with Mr Todt had been established, told him, “I ought to warn you that you
have a ‘bad apple’ in your organisation”.
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Paris, 26 July 2007 11
As I pointed out, the first thing that happened when the agreement was put in place was a deluge of
questions relating to performance aspects of our cars.
I am not sure what you mean by the “strong inference”. If you are saying that there is a strong
inference that McLaren is not telling the truth to this Council, then I protest most strongly. If you
are suggesting that a detached observer might think this, then it has been rebutted. In the
circumstances as they have been described, it is not appropriate to suggest that anything was wrong
with Mr Dennis’ approach on this.
Let me put this another way because I do not think I have been very clear. If information was
flowing from Stepney to McLaren, the only piece of information that McLaren needed to reveal
was the story of the floor and the wing. It is thus entirely understandable that those two matters
would emerge. There was no hint of the problems with Mr Stepney, when the agreement was
made. One wonders, then, whether Mr Stepney was not providing information of which that was
only one part. The reason – and it would not be fair if I did not put this to you – for which Stepney
was not exposed by McLaren was because he was useful.
Well –
Let me just finish the reasoning. His behaviour becomes erratic, according to Mr Neale’s
statement. Mr Neale, in his discussion with Mr Coughlan, then said to stop the communication. A
disinterested person looking at that would wonders whether there was further information. Would
it not have been more consistent with the only piece of information being the whistle-blowing that
Mr Dennis would warn Ferrari, considering their relations, that they had a very suspicious
individual in their organisation?
I do not see the distinction on how Mr Dennis should have reacted, depending on how much
information had been disclosed or not disclosed. What did happen is that Mr Dennis instructed that
there should be no further contact. That is the step he took, and it is appropriate to me. He said that
there should be no further contact, and Mr Neale gave that instruction to Mr Coughlan.
Several weeks later, and after Mr Stepney had become erratic.
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Paris, 26 July 2007 12
No. By all means, no.
In April, according to Mr Neale’s statement.
No. Mr Neale refers to two stages: immediately after the Australian Grand Prix, he gave
instructions to Mr Coughlan that there should be no further contact. It was only when he was told
subsequently, after the Bahrain Grand Prix, that Mr Coughlan was still receiving communications
from Mr Stepney disparaging Ferrari, that he installed the firewall. That was a second gradated
response. The first response, requesting that there be no further contact, was immediate, after the
Australian Grand Prix.
Let us look at the statement.
It is found at Tab 4 in the Initial Response and Statement of Facts, page 2, paragraph 7. Perhaps
you should read together Paragraphs 6 and 7.
“I recall being told by Mr Coughlan after” – it does not say immediately after the Australian Grand
Prix – “that he was concerned about having received unsolicited information from Mr Stepney,
about his having been unhappy at Ferrari. Having read press reports about Mr Stepney’s
increasingly unsettled relations with Ferrari and what appeared to be increasingly erratic behaviour,
formed the view that no good could come from Mr Coughlan having any further communication
with him. I did not understand or trust his motives and did not know whether his communications
to Mr Coughlan would help McLaren deal with questionable conduct on the part of Ferrari, or
would it deceive or set up or compromise McLaren. I wanted to be sure that Mr Stepney and Mr
Coughlan were not communicating, technically or professionally.
Please carry on.
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Paris, 26 July 2007 13
I accordingly asked Mr Coughlan to take steps to end contact with Mr Stepney and to tell Mr
Stepney not to send him anything further. When in mid-April, after the Bahrain Grand Prix, Mr
Coughlan told me that, despite his efforts to end contact with Mr Stepney continued to contact him
to complain about his treatment at Ferrari, I also arranged for a firewall to be introduced on 17
April, to block potential e-mails.
That is what I see as the two stages of treatment. As to precisely when, after the Australian Grand
Prix, the instruction was given…
Perhaps we can ask him.
(after asking Jonathan Neale)
It was immediately after they landed at the airport from the Grand Prix.
It does not say that in the statement.
That is what Mr Neale is here to do: to assist the Council with any further questions that it might
Another point, with regard to the Rules of Engagement. It is stated that: “Both teams are
committed to the long-term health and well-being of the sport and wish to collaborate in a manner
that fosters and encourages cooperation and demonstrates leadership to the other stakeholders”…
“We wish to draw a line under matters of contention, signal a fresh start.” Then, in Paragraph 1 “In
the event that a team believes that the other team may be interpreting the FIA Regulations in a
manner believed to give the other team an illegitimate competitive advantage, then it may either
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 14
What it does not say is that they will disclose the source of the information. That was no part of the
It was also entered into at the Canadian Grand Prix, after Jean had deleted the mention that this be a
“legally-binding agreement”. I was comfortable for this to be a legally-binding agreement.
“Each team recognised the need to prevent an official protest and endeavours to apply to all
possible extent the procedures, so as to ensure that the other team does not enjoy an illegitimate
competitive advantage”… “shall disclose its concerns”… Perhaps I am seeing this in completely
the wrong way, but it does seem that, at that point, had Stepney not been a useful source of
Max, firstly, the document was signed at the Canadian Grand Prix. Secondly, it was not provided
to Ferrari, with the latter then saying it would not be part of the agreement. It went back and forth
two or three times between the companies. I took the initiative and the key fact here is that I
wanted this to be legally-binding.
Mr Todt wishes to say something, I think.
Ron Dennis has called me into question on two or three quotes. I simply wanted to confirm for the
World Council members that, if you see the letter, I answered about the cooperation between
Scuderia Ferrari and McLaren Racing, I reminded him, in the last paragraph, that we already have
an agreement with Williams and McLaren in 2003, with the same content. As I was not satisfied as
it was not respected in the way I felt it should have been, when Ron approached me after the
Australian Grand Prix, where I was unhappy about the heavy comments regarding Ferrari, he said
we should make an agreement. I replied that we already had an agreement ongoing and that it was
not upheld. Nonetheless, I prefer to have a healthy championship, and was prepared to make an
additional agreement. He agreed to make a draft. He informed me of this, and I agreed. I stated
that we already had an agreement, as stated in this letter. We communicated on this agreement,
which was signed between McLaren, Williams and Ferrari during a meeting held in Parma, Italy.
That is why I felt it was helpful to give you those details. The last point, concerning the deluge of
questions, once the agreement was in place, we had a doubt about one technical device on the
McLaren car. Rather than going to the FIA, we thought we would deal with this internally, as we
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 15
agreed together. That is why we sent the letter. It was addressed to the Head of the Chassis
Technology, Patty Lowe. We were satisfied with the answer.
First of all, I think we should have a copy of the Williams, McLaren and Ferrari agreement. As
Jean seems to have conveniently forgotten, the breach of that agreement was on Ferrari’s part. If
reference is to be made to that earlier agreement, it would be appropriate to have it in front of us
and decide the circumstances under which it was breached. Secondly, it was notified to us by
Ferrari that they did not wish to live under that agreement again. It did not exist because they did
not want to function under it. Lastly, the question raised about the McLaren car was not one
question alone, but five.
I will make two points. The first is the suggestion that McLaren may have found Mr Stepney a
“useful source of information”. We absolutely, categorically reject this, first because there is no
evidence to support it and secondly, because it is completely inconsistent with the action that
McLaren took.
Let us deal firstly with the evidence, for we are here to consider evidence, Mr President. Mr
Coughlan does not say this. No evidence from the search of Mr Coughlan’s house or computer has
supported that. We have disclosed all the relevant e-mails we could find following Crawl’s
interrogation of the computer system and there is no evidence from Ferrari to support that. I will
come back to this, but they must have made ether own inquiries by now. It defies belief that they
have not made their own internal investigation of what Mr Stepney has been doing. Hence, the
evidence is not there. Rather, there is evidence (and I am sorry that Mr Neale’s statement was not
specific about the date) that, on the day that they landed after the Australian Grand Prix, Mr Neale
issued the instruction that no further such contact was to be made. It was only after being told in
April about Mr Stepney’s continuing to contact Mr Coughlan, with a view toward disparaging
Ferrari – not with a view to giving him confidential information – that the firewall was introduced.
Therefore, deal with this on evidence. There is no evidence to support assertions as the President
has proposed. On the contrary, all of the evidence flatly indicates the opposite.
May I go on to deal with the other events?
Let us move forward, then, to the end of April. Apparently, some 780 pages of documents were
given by Mr Coughlan to Mr Stepney, in Barcelona, on 28 April. Possibly, further documents were
given to him a separate occasion. So far as we are aware, they were kept as his home and were
shredded, but copied onto computer disks prior to this, also kept at his home. We have summarised
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 16
our factual response to this, in our document at the beginning of the papers. It is in Paragraph III
and includes five propositions. I will read them out, then seek to support them with the evidence
we have.
???? Firstly, Mr Coughlan took possession of the documents for his own private purposes,
without the authority of McLaren, and contrary to the specific instructions of his superior,
Mr Neale, to cease any contact with Mr Stepney.
???? Prior to the recent legal action taken by Ferrari, no one at McLaren except Mr Coughlan
himself, was aware that Mr Coughlan had taken the Ferrari documents. No one else at
McLaren received the Ferrari documents, nor any copies, nor any information derived from
???? McLaren has made no use whatsoever of the Ferrari documents, or any information
contained in them, either in its design or otherwise.
???? So far as McLaren can ascertain at this stage, the most likely explanation, is that Mr
Coughlan took possession of the Ferrari documents in order to facilitate a plan, initiated
apparently by Mr Stepney, to move to Honda with Mr Stepney. He was accordingly acting
not only in his own private interest, but also directly contrary to the interests of McLaren.
???? Following Ferrari’s legal action, Mr Coughlan has returned the Ferrari documents to Ferrari.
He has been suspended by McLaren, pending disciplinary proceedings.
Those are the factual conclusions which we invite this Council to say are the correct factual
conclusions on the evidence. I understand what Mr President has said: that you do not intend to
take much account of the Ferrari memorandum and the inferences contained within it.
We would wish to draw to your attention, nonetheless, if only to dismiss a wildly inaccurate
assertion made by Ferrari in its memorandum, to the effect that the totality of those documents were
seen by four senior McLaren employees. That is the clear message that one gets from reading the
memorandum. I hope, having read the response to it, that you will see that this is completely
unjustified, not only on the facts that we have presented, but on the evidence from which they drew
those conclusions themselves. They drew that conclusion from Mr Coughlan’s affidavit — the only
material that they had. All Mr Coughlan’s evidence indicated was that he briefly showed two
pictures to Mr Neale and one diagram to Mr Taylor. I will come back to both these points. That is
the totality of the evidence of contact between McLaren employees and the Ferrari documents,
assuming that they are Ferrari documents. For today’s purposes, we will do so, but you will
understand that we do not know, because we do not know what is in them.
The reference by the Ferrari memorandum to Mr Whitmarsh and Mr Lowe having access to this
information is completely immaterial, irrelevant and wrong. The totality of their involvement was
in relation to the whistle-blowing matters, about which I have already spoken. As far as Mr Neale
is concerned, his evidence is that he saw two images only, had no idea that they were Ferrari
documents, was not told by Mr Coughlan that that is where they came from. He was not told by Mr
Coughlan, nr did he think that Mr Coughlan had any such documents. He has stated and is here to
explain why he did not take that matter seriously. In any view, he certainly did not derive any
information from it, did not use the information and did not appreciate that Mr Coughlan had done
what he had done, that action being flatly contrary to his instructions. So far as Mr Taylor is
concerned, he saw one diagram, but did not know its provenance or age. He was asked by Mr
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 17
Coughlan whether this looked like the type of brake balance that Ferrari had been using when he
and Mr Taylor had been at Ferrari in the 1990s. He said that it did and that was the totality of their
conversation. They had been talking about brake balances, and then moved on. Mr Taylor did not
appreciate that Mr Coughlan had received an entire raft of Ferrari documents from Mr Stepney and
did not otherwise consider where that document might have come from. He did not discuss it with
any other person at McLaren. Equally, Mr Neale did not discuss what had happened with Mr
Coughlan with anyone else at McLaren. He has explained in his statement why that is so, and is
here to answer any questions you may have about this.
So far as McLaren is aware, Mr Coughlan took those documents home, kept them secret from
McLaren, had them copied at an outside copying facility – incidentally, how this matter came to
Ferrari’s attention – and made no use of them otherwise, certainly not for the purposes of
McLaren’s business. He acted contrary to his contractual obligations, which we have set out in our
submissions, contrary to Mr Neale’s instructions and effectively, in deceit of his employer. We say
“in deceit of his employer” because we infer and state that it is a very strong inference, that on the
information available the strong probability is that Mr Coughlan was doing this with Mr Stepney
with a view to him leaving McLaren to join another team.
We now know, very recently, as a result of interrogating Mr Coughlan’s computer that, as long ago
as last September, one of the e-mail streams that we have found and produced is an e-mail stream
with Toyota, in and after September last, starting off with an e-mail from Mr Coughlan. In it, he
states: “I will be leaving McLaren” and requesting that Toyota employ him. We also know – for
Mr Todt has stated this in an affidavit that is not before you, but which we have seen – Ferrari made
him a job offer in 2006, though he did not accept. We have seen from Mr Frye’s chronology and,
indeed, been told by Mr Frye, what happened between Mr Coughlan and Honda. First of all, five
days after the documents were handed over by Mr Stepney to Mr Coughlan in Barcelona, Mr
Stepney made contact with Mr Frye, set up a meeting to discuss moving to Honda. At that meeting,
on May 9th, he stated that Mr Coughlan would like to accompany him. Mr Frye met with Mr
Coughlan on June 1st. According to what Mr Frye has told us, Mr Coughlan aspired to become
Technical Director of Honda. You have far more experience in these matters than I do. I invite
you nonetheless to accept that it is not beyond the realm of possibility that, where senior individuals
from one or two teams are planning to go to another team, they might commit the sort of
wrongdoing that these individuals have, that they might be doing it for this joint venture, and not
for that of one or other of their employers.
We have a concern before us today and do not know what has happened, though Ferrari may be
able to assist us with this. It is just as possible that Mr Coughlan has disclosed to Mr Stepney a
similar amount of confidential McLaren information, for precisely the same purpose: why only take
Ferrari information if it is going to Honda? We have not yet been able to interview Mr Coughlan,
for reasons already stated. You can be certain, however, that that is one of the questions that we
will be asking. We are not perpetrators, but victims, in the same way as Ferrari is. Yes, we know
about the Ferrari documents and, even though we are not aware of McLaren documents having
been passed on, why are we not victims, in circumstances where the purpose of obtaining these
documents was to take them to another employer?
Can I stop you for one moment?
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 18
Of course.
I don’t think it is true to say that there is any evidence of a desire to take these to another employer.
There may have been the intention to go to another employer, but not to take the documents. One
can understand that, if Mr Coughlan was leaving McLaren to go to Honda, he would want to take
McLaren information. One can understand that if Mr Stepney were going to Honda, he would want
to take Ferrari information. However, this does not explain why Mr Stepney gave Ferrari
information to Mr Coughlan, if the objective was to go to Honda.
One simply does not know what the minds of these individuals were. However, for a person
planning to cheat, steal or take information, would it not be a good idea in advance of that person’s
departure, to store that information somewhere, well away from the employer? And why not, if
there is a co-conspirator, give it to the other person? We are in the realms of inference, Mr
Just as you say that I should not infer that there was a constant stream of information, of which we
have only seen a little peek, as necessary to reveal for these proceedings, I must ask you whether it
is right for you to infer all of these intentions.
What was the “little peek” to which you refer?
The little piece of information is the Ferrari floor device.
There is no evidence of a constant stream of Ferrari information.
You object to the drawing of inference that there may have been a stream information. That one bit
had to be revealed because it was necessary to stop the floor device. If we enter the realm of
inferences, then there could have been a lot of other information.
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 19
There is a difference, if I may respectfully submit it. Inferences are always open to be drawn in
appropriate circumstances. Here, in relation to whistle-blowing, all of the evidence is against that.
Here, the evidence is consistent with the inference. If it was intended to be used by McLaren, you
would not have the picture of the events that we do. Unless this Council is ready to say that
everyone at McLaren is lying through their teeth, that there has been wide dissemination of this
information across McLaren, and that Coughlan is a hero and that this outcome is wonderful, then
one must accept that he did not take the information with the purpose of using it with his employer.
Otherwise, why did he not disseminate that information. Therefore, if he was using it for private
purposes, it is right to try and consider what those private purposes might be. That, simultaneously,
he and Mr Stepney were trying to enter another team, may be an inference, but one that has far
more factual material to back it.
I think it is a little bit difficult to say that either we say that everyone at McLaren knew or no one
knew. This is perhaps not the moment to raise this. Mr Coughlan was working at McLaren from
the end of April to the beginning of July. No one has told us what he was doing. We have asked
but we have not been told.
I beg your pardon?
We have asked, but have not been told. We have been told that he was in charge of the Drawing
Office. We asked a specific question.
We have the confidential document which shows all of the changes made to the car, up to and
beyond the time where Mr Coughlan was suspended. We have not disclosed that yet.
That is not the question. The question, found in Numbers 4 and 5 on the list of 37 questions had to
do with the projects on which he was working. We have been told only that he was in charge of the
drawing office. All sorts of things may… We require an answer to that and have not been given it.
Can we return to this matter? I am trying desperately to hold onto one particular question you
asked: “why, if they were plotting, did the documents get passed?” A plausible explanation is that,
first of all, Mr Stepney was under intense scrutiny in Italy. Secondly, walking into a photocopy
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 20
shop with Ferrari drawings in Italy would have been quite stupid. I think they were moved out of
Italy for that purpose. I am trying to be a gentlemen in this situation, but the simple fact, supported
by affidavit, is that the drawings were taken by Mike’s wife to a photocopy shop ten miles from
McLaren. They were photocopied onto disk. She paid with a personal check, took them home,
shredded them at home and burned them in her garden.
During the course of our searches through the e-mail transmissions – 50 000 e-mails on Coughlin’s
laptop, interrogated under the supervision of lawyers, by the most recognised forensics electronic
experts, Crawl – we found one e-mail confirming, from their home e-mail address, that she had
picked up the drawings from the shop. Regardless of how one “spins” this story, can you honestly
believe that McLaren – the company, the team – is na?ve enough to embrace the concept of a wife
of an employee, going through the actions she did?
Furthermore, this employee was contracted initially from September 2002 to 2007. One year
before the end of his contract, he re-signed for a period spanning from March 2006 to 2009. Fullycontracted,
why would he apply for a job at Toyota, as evidenced in the e-mails? Why did he
negotiate, as is the subject of our evidence? Why did he entertain a job solicitation from Ferrari
from latter 2006, denied by Ferrari, then subsequently confirmed? And why, when there was a
“love-in” that the local health club, to try to turn his mind away from resigning, why after pledging
allegiance to McLaren, seven days later, he was discussing new employment at Honda with
Stepney, in Heathrow Airport?
Are these the actions of someone working in unison with McLaren? To exploit documents? That
did not happen. These are facts, not spin: three job offers, his wife fully-involved in the process, all
of this fully documented in legally-binding affidavits. This is not the action of a company spying
on the industrial secrets of another company. This is the action of two rogue employees definitely
looking to find a future for themselves and go where the money lies. There are more than those two
people involved. If I had the evidence, I could assert that here were up to five people, some from
other teams. There is far more than meets the eye. We are here to present facts: three job offers,
full involvement of Mrs Coughlin – all of this is evidence. We were not involved in this process.
I understand. Thank you. Do understand that I must ask questions as best I can, because we want
to reach the truth. You must not feel that we are having a go at you because we are not.
Max, I have experienced 24 days of hell. I have strictly adhered to the letter of the law. The court
order imposed on me, on you and on Ferrari. My company has been dragged through filth, through
spin and innuendo. It has not come from you, and it has not come from me. There are no facts
supporting what we are accused of. I am an honourable person. I did not pick up on your saying
that there were questions about my honesty. I am fighting for my own personal integrity and the
integrity of my company. There is no evidence whatsoever that this company used any of the
material. There is every evidence to support that these two people were acting in unison to secure
employment for larger sums of money. If you want the Who’s Who of highly-paid designers, I can
tell you that there are only two who earn nought of USD 5 million. You have Mr Coughlin’s
service contract and know that we pay him GBP
There are USD +10 million designers on the market and that is their motivation. They, in
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 21
turn, claim to be able to solve manufacturers’ uncompetitive ness problems. “Buy my package”,
they claim, “and I will deliver results”. Two of the largest, most powerful companies in the world,
in Formula 1, have consistently failed from the day they entered this sport. That is why this has
happened. “Buy me, I will give you competitiveness.”
Before we continue, I think there is slight disagreement about what happened between Mr Dennis
and Mr Todt. I think that Mr Todt would like to say something on that point.
There is no affidavit from Jean in this statement. There are three basic statements from me in this
document, including one about a conversation. As you well know, within less than one hour of
learning of this affair, I telephoned Jean and told him, “I learned this, it has blown my mind, it is
thrown and twisted.” I suggested that we engage our press departments. He said, “No, let’s do it
through the lawyers”. Within Jean’s affidavit, he makes reference to one part of that conversation..
we discussed three matters, two of which are factually-wrong. The lawyers can verify that we
I don’t think this is helping us at all. I think that Jean wanted to make a point. I do not want an
argument between you and Jean. I wanted to give Jean the opportunity to say what he wanted to
It is just a clarification about contact we had with Mr Coughlan to hire him in 2006. Our former
Technical Director had a conversation with him and offered him a position in our company while
he was in discussions for the renewal of his contract to stay at McLaren. In other words, this was
prior to March 2006. Ultimately, he informed us that he was refusing our offer and had decided to
stay at McLaren.
It is absolutely common practice for teams and people to solicit. That is not my point. When
solicited by Ferrari, Mr Coughlan had a contract that ran to the end of 2007. Yet the solicitation
took place in 2006. I am only saying that this individual’s intent…
He is not a nice person.
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 22
What are the motives of this, Max?
It could have been all sorts of things.
It is not a motive involving McLaren.
Could we return to the previous place in the discussion, namely evidence of any possibility of
benefit being derived by McLaren. You have all seen and, I hope, read the report by Mr Lowe. Mr
Lowe is well-known to you, Mr President, and his integrity, ability and intellect are not in dispute.
He has given a detailed memorandum to Mr Neale, following an investigation carried out at the
request of Mr Neale.
I will read his summary conclusion. This is not one that he would likely have written had he
deemed the situation otherwise: “Having reviewed the material set out above, I have absolute
confidence that none of the Ferrari documents or information from the Ferrari documents was or
could have been used or incorporated in any way in the McLaren car or in modifications to that car.
Specifically, as stated above, there is no aspect of the design of the parts of our car concerning
origin, justification or performance, of which I am not aware. Accordingly, I know from my own
knowledge that no information from Ferrari was used in any performance upgrade to the McLaren
car. There is an electronic file, the Combined Technical Programme, distributed by e-mail
periodically and widely within McLaren Racing and Mercedes Benz high-performance engines.
The CTP is so pervasive a document within the individual and collective data archives of both
companies as to represent a body of evidence wholly impractical to corrupt. Within the CTP exists
the Current Performance Plan, which provides a schedule of the quantified performance
developments brought to the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes race-car throughout the 2007 season.
The CPP schedule is comprehensive, exhaustive and complete. There is no measurable
performance upgrade not present as a line item.
I have attached a print-out from the CPP as an example That is the document we have here. It is
current as at the 19th of July. We are in a position to circulate it within this room. It is a highlyconfidential
document and we would ask to have the copies returned to us at the end of the hearing.
With your confidential document, that is part of the…
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 23
I was not going to give it to Ferrari, or the other teams. This is for the Council members to see
what Mr Lowe is referring to. The print-out is verifiable against McLaren racing data archives as
being complete.
“The document clearly shows that no information from Ferrari was used in any performance
upgrade to the McLaren car. I have cross-checked this position, by reference to all other relevant
documents. They confirm that no information from Ferrari was used in any performance upgrade
to the McLaren car. For the avoidance of doubt, I can also confirm that I and all my staff in
Engineering were astonished at the revelations concerning the documents found at Mike
Coughlan’s house on 3rd July and were absolutely unaware of that issue prior to that date.”
I would add two things. The first is that Mr Lowe is not here, for the very good reason that we are
trying to win a championship. Had anyone thought, in particular the FIA, for him to be present to
answer any further questions, of course, he would have been. Mr President, if you wish us to have
him on a telephone speaker, so that you can ask him questions, of course, that will occur.
Secondly, and I hope this will dispose of any residual point that Mr Lowe’s result can be thought
not to cover. We have made an open offer, which stands as of today and will stand hereafter. It is
an open offer to the FIA’s Technical Staff to come to McLaren and inspect anything that they want
to inspect that might help in persuading you that we have not used any Ferrari technical information
in our car. That offer has not been acted upon, but remains and will continued to remain hereafter.
Of course, we have suspended Mr Coughlan, but if you wish to come, please do. We say this fully
bearing in mind what the President said at the start of the session: that if information contrary to
what we have indicated today were discovered, we would be facing serious consequences. We
understand this and maintain our offer. Please take that into account in considering how transparent
and straightforward we are being. I am sorry if we appear not to have answered all 37 questions.
Had we been told in advance of this hearing, that there was failure to answer properly, we could
have done our best and brought Mr Lowe to deal with this. I am not aware that there is anything
material beyond what Mr Lowe says with which we could assist you. However, if you wish to ask
Mr Lowe, we will make him available. Ask him any questions you wish. I do not want it to be even
remotely thought that our apparent failure to answer even in part the question is because we have
anything to hide. We have nothing to hide and wish to assist in every way. I think this is all that
we can say.
Thank you very much. At a quick glance, this is – and I will not say anything that could be useful
to Ferrari – this is an analysis of all the elements of the car and engine…
That is not true, Max. That is the document that is circulated at least once a month, perhaps twice a
month within the entire engineering staff. This sets the goals. We are not now in a position, where
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 24
the driver can tell the difference between one of those components. I would like to draw your
attention to the red squares. The green squares relate to the amount of lap time reduction…
This is all in Patty Lowe’s statement.
I understand that. I would still like to underline that each of these individual components, as a
single unit cannot be detected by the driver. The purpose of this document is not to demonstrate to
the FIA World Council our transparency in respect of our lack of intellectual property incurred.
Rather, this is a document that is circulated once or twice per month, every month, to determine the
performance targets of each engineering group. This means that all of this information is embedded
in the company’s systems.
This is all in Mr Lowe’s statement.
The statement contains many things. I want to ensure that the Council knows, with respect to
whistle-blowing, that every single engineer in our company has this document twelve months per
year and knows exactly what we are doing.
This appears to be an analysis of every element of the car and the increase or decrease in lap time
attributable to that element.
And how it was achieved.
That is what it appears to be, at a very quick glance.
Moreover, it must be understood that, upstream from this is the concept’s DNA: single engineers
developments do not occur in a single burst. This represents months of research. The DNA goes
back many months.
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 25
That is what Mr Lowe has done and what enabled him to reach the conclusions he did. He has
gone back and checked the origin, provenance, DNA, date of concept, etc., and has satisfied
himself that there is no possibility of Ferrari information being used, by clearing that origin and
provenance in his own mind. He would not have written what he wrote in his report had he not felt
comfortable doing so, and he did, following investigation.
We are trying to prove a negative: that is very difficult to do. We have no evidence before us that
we have used it, other than inference. All we can do is to try to rebut the inference. We rebut it by
looking at the motive and saying that all of the evidence suggests that there is no actual use. We
cannot do anymore, except invite you, as we have already done to come to our premises: put your
technical staff on the job, invade the premises and interrogate us. You are welcome!
We understand that.
Charlie Whiting, present today, already took a very good look at a similar document at an earlier
Yes, he was shown that by Mr Lowe.
We were suitably impressed by the detail. I do not think that any of us would expect to see, on the
current McLaren, anything from the Ferrari. Even if McLaren were in the worst possible way
complicit with Coughlin, these parts are designed through a very lengthy process. All of these bits
fit with other bits. It is very unlikely that there will be a “eureka”. There are one or two things that
might be useful. For example, for someone moving from Michelin tires to Bridgestone tires, it
might have been useful to know the Ferrari weight distribution. However, in all probability, it is
not, for there would have been endless testing and they would have known that weight distribution.
We would thus not expect to find anything there.
What concerns us is the following: first, there is an inference that more people than Coughlan
knew. As you said, there is no evidence that they knew any technical detail other than what you
refer to as the whistle-blowing in March. The question that arises is that: Mr Coughlan had the
totality of the technical information on the Ferrari.
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 26
I do not know whether this is actually true.
We believe it to be true.
Any F1 car falls between 10 000 and 12 000 drawings. That leaves out tooling and all of the other
components. Just looking at the future, we will make available to Charlie Whiting any
developments that fall onto our racing cars this year and provide him with a full understanding of
the DNA. He will then be able to judge whether it originates in Ferrari. We have no fear of this at
all. Max, we are just not involved in this. Please do not involve us on the basis of hearsay. There
is no factual evidence whatsoever that we are involved in this and we are not.
Let us look at page 109 of the FIA Dossier.
Please do not go there. Is this part of the confidential information from Ferrari?
No, because we circulated it to everybody.
No, we did not look at it. I understand that you deliberately circulated it. That may have been your
decision and privilege. I took the view that it is not appropriate for McLaren to see that
information. It is sensitive, technical information that belongs to Ferrari. I have prevented anyone
from McLaren from seeing it.
I think we are referring to two different things.
On page 109, there is a list of items on the CD. Do you consider this confidential?
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 27
Thus, you have not shown it to McLaren.
No, I have prevented them from seeing it.
That makes it very difficult for them to defend themselves. On the one side, it is Ferrari’s
information. Ferrari has said that we can reveal it.
I did not know that. I knew only that the FIA had decided to disclose it. If Ferrari says they are
content for it to be revealed, then McLaren can look at it. However, this has not yet been done.
As I understand it, that question was posed by McLaren’s lawyers.
We asked whether it had been included accidentally, and were told that it was intentionally
included. I did not see any express statement that Ferrari had given its permission for that
information to be disclosed to McLaren. For that reason alone, I did not think it appropriate for
McLaren to see it. I am happy for Mr Dennis to look at it now, given that fact.
I want to be absolutely explicit. Not one member of our staff has ever seen, save for that disclosed
in our dossiers, one single Ferrari drawing. That is the truth and I do not want to see any Ferrari
drawings. I want to be able to stand up in front of the world and say that neither I nor any member
of my staff has looked at a Ferrari drawing or data.
(having conferred with his legal counsel): I am told it I not drawings, purely a list.
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 28
It is attached to the Ferrari memorandum. There is a brief crude list of what Ferrari says is on the
CD. Then, there is a detailed report of the Ferrari test.
…which would clearly not be appropriate to see.
I asked whether they would object, and they did not, but it would be better if they did not see it.
Unless you think it is absolutely necessary that they see it?
I do not think it is so. It is only in there because the test was concluded on 3 May and was therefore
not included in the pack from the 28th of April.
We are extremely grateful for this, as entirely justifies the approach we have taken in our treatment
of Mr Coughlan, which was to wait to see how this pans out, before interviewing him. If there
evidence to suggest that Mr Coughlan has not been full and frank in his affidavit to the English
court, that is something we wanted to know.
Although he mentions a subsequent dinner and the receipt of a brake diagram, as opposed to the
sketch, which was inaccurate, he has never offered any explanation for presence of the third
That is absolutely right.
There is another inference there.
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 29
There is no difficulty with everybody seeing the list that Ferrari says is on the CD. That is a huge
amount of confidential information, no question about that. Mr Dennis, with his expert eye, will
see very quickly that there is a lot of information there.
When we asked the questions, we asked two particular questions: “what projects was Mr Coughlan
involved with at McLaren in 2007”, and subsequently, “apart from the projects listed in 4 above,
did he have any involvement in any aspect the technical work or management, present or future
and, if so, please provide details”. The response to the first question was: “Mr Coughlan is the
Manager of the Vehicle Design Department, which produces the engineering drawings in respect to
McLaren’s Racing Programme. These designs respond to the engineering specifications produced
by the other engineering functions. Consequently, Mr Coughlan has overseen the production of
engineering drawings in relation to the design and development of the 2007 McLaren chassis.
Please not, however, that McLaren has submitted evidence that all of these projects were
independently developed by McLaren employees. In response to second question, it was
responded: “Please see the answer to Question 4”.
We were hoping to be told what he did each day.
That is a bit extreme.
We were not expecting quite the details on each day, but simply the projects in which he was
involved. We were not told that.
A fair inference is that this is what he was involved in.
That was all?
That was perhaps not everything, but nothing that extended beyond that. If we had had this
document and felt able to show it to Mr Lowe, that might have helped him give a more specific,
targeted response. I do not know. I am sorry if this is not an adequate answer. I had thought that it
was, because Mr Lowe told you that this is what he had been doing. If you wish to check whether
he has been doing anything else, we can ask Mr Lowe. If you want this dealt with in this room, it
can be done. Alternatively, as we proposed, Mr Whiting has access to him and can speak to him
from another location. He has had the ability to speak to Mr Lowe at all times.
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 30
The issue is that someone is designing the 2008 McLaren.
Why don’t you ask the question, Max?
Someone is designing the 2008 McLaren. In all probability, the person doing this is not in charge
of the 2007 car.
I can answer.
Let me be clear. When we asked about the projects, the answer could conceivably have been that
he was working on some aspects of the 2007 car and some aspects of the 2008 car. We thought we
would receive a list of these.
I am sorry; we genuinely had not understood that was the sense of the question.
We can give you a detailed understanding of it. This year’s car was designed by Pat Frye and next
year’s car is being designed by Tim Goss. At the moment, the latter has access to a percentage of
the engineering resource, focusing on aerodynamics and gearbox design, to accommodate the new
gearbox rule. The aeropackage is purely due to the need to design the monocoque shape early
enough to determine the wet surfaces. These are the parties responsible for the design of those cars.
If we are fortunate enough to win the World Championship this year, the design credit will go to
Pat Frye. They alternate, year on year.
As chief designer, does he or did he have any input?
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 31
“Chief Designer” is not the term used in-house, but it was deemed the easiest expression to convey
the sense of his job. It is an orchestrating position. Once the car is conceptualised by the team
leader, the development programme is controlled by Patty Lowe and his team. The role that Mr
Coughlan played lied in reliability: he watched the programmes and acted more as an orchestrator,
not a designer.
Mr Coughlan has had no involvement in next year’s car because his responsibilities would have
commenced at the point of construction. Mike signs drawings, he does not draw them. His role is
to approve a drawing for production and have an orchestrating position. The design of next year’s
car will be Tim Goss’ work.
I am sorry that this was not specific in the documents presented to you, but we did not understand
the purpose. Again, if Charlie Whiting came to the organisation, the paper trail on who produces
drawings and how they are steered, would completely and utterly support, both into the future and
the past, that Pat Frye designed the 2007 car and Tim Goss the 2008 car. You would see a stream
of drawings countersigned by Mike Coughlan, meaning he approved them for production, from the
standpoint of reliability and safety.
One of the difficulties is that no one has been able to cross-examine M Coughlan. There are things
in his affidavit cry out for it.
We agree.
Crawl, which conducted the electronic analysis, trying to search not only what was there, but also
what was obliterated and re-assembled, focused solely and exclusively on incoming traffic. They
have now been switched, at vast expense: it will take four months to determine whether there has
been any meaningful download from our systems to disk. That process is underway now. We, too,
have a very keen interest in how this unfolds. Please do not feel that we will not fall into the victim
basket eventually. We have no evidence to support that position at the moment.
The difficulty from our viewpoint is as follows. We cannot cross-examine Coughlan. He says that,
having been given hundreds and hundreds of pages, he looked at them for one and two hours. That
is manifestly untrue. Even if I were given the documents, they would be sufficiently interesting
that I would spend some time going through them. To him, it is his whole life; it is what he does.
It is inconceivable that he did not go through those documents in great detail. I am not saying that
this automatically implies that they were used by McLaren. That is not the matter. It is
inconceivable that he did not grow through them in great detail, because they would have been
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 32
completely and utterly fascinating to him. It is what he has always done and, suddenly, he had
Ferrari information, and in great quantities.
He, then, for more than two months, went to McLaren every day, working on the McLaren projects,
with this information increasingly in his mind. One would reasonably assume that, during those
two months, he would be making his way through the documents. We need to be sure that this
information was not used by Coughlan to further the interests of McLaren, even without anyone
else in the organisation knowing it.
Mr Lowe states that this not possible. He says that he has been able to satisfy himself as to the
origin and provenance of the various developments in which Mr Coughlan has been involved. I am
not a technical person, and can only tell you that Mr Lowe is satisfied that there is no Ferrari
provenance. He and Mr Whiting can discuss this.
It is, indeed. I am probably less technically-versed than you.
It is certainly clear that, either Mr Coughlan has no input at all, which is improbable, or that what is
in his mind has an effect on what is done at Mr Coughlan.
This is supposition. You say that he may or may not have done this, and you say that curiosity got
the better of him. There were in my view more than two individuals, systematically purveying
themselves of the database, to instantly make an uncompetitive team competitive. That database
was not solely and exclusively the material that Ferrari had stolen from it. I believe that is the
The question is: if he is concealing it – he who, seven days after pledging allegiance to McLaren,
sat at Heathrow airport, discussing a job with Honda – why would he bring things in and
destabilise? He would have been stupid to do so, and he did not. Then, the question is: what was in
his mind? If we must determine whether his knowledge was relevant to our car’s performance, we
must go back and determine who came up with ideas? How long have these ideas been in the
company? How long have they been streaming onto the car? All of the ideas in that schedule have
their DNA in the R&D Department of our organisation, run by Patty Lowe. The two senior
designers responsible for the two cars do not solely and exclusively function on their own, but are
guided by the R&D Department, because it is the research reflected in the future car. Some may
ask why Mr Coughlan was even present, considering that. The response is that his job was to
oversee and coordinate. There are examples, perhaps, of similar positions elsewhere: Ross Born,
for instance, probably orchestrates the resources at Ferrari. This is not uncommon in organisations.
Jean may comment on this, but these are the facts. The unusual characteristic of Adrian Newey is
his occasional work at the drawing board. Nonetheless, he cannot be said to be the designer.
The World Council needs to understand that we have 136 engineers and designers, totally focused
on chassis development One bad apple is immediately apparent: it is impossible to contaminate the
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 33
work of 136 engineers and designers in that period of time. We have completely verified, for our
own standards and our own satisfaction that there were no Ferrari drawings or ideas on our
premises. Coughlan did not communicate into the system anything with origins in Ferrari
intellectual property. I am totally convinced of that matter.
Did he contribute anything?
His contribution is the sign-off. His peak workload comes in November- December-January, when
10 to 15 000 drawings come in. Someone must deem them “fit for production”, or “under
consideration for drawing”, “under consideration for structural properties”, etc. That is not the
design process.
You are thus saying that he made no contribution.
There is not a single employee at McLaren who does not contribute to our winning races. It would
be ridiculous to say that one person in the organisation made no contribution whatsoever. However,
his role was not in creation of the racing car, in the sense of his creative DNA.
You stated, then, that he “contributed no creative ideas”.
I have ideas. Everybody contributes ideas. We truthfully believe none of the ideas in our car
originate in what is in his head, in respect of Ferrari intellectual property.
You do see, however, that if you do not know what is on the Ferrari disc, you will not be able to say
whether there are any contributions from that disc to your current car.
Exactly. However, as far as we know and as far as we can establish, using Patty Lowe, nothing on
our car now or in the last few months, according to our R&D programme, have their origins, ideas
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 34
or concepts in Mike Coughlan. They all have other people. This is not difficult to understand. 136
engineers and designers can be tracked back to individuals.
Thank you, Ron.
If he were here, Mr Lowe would tell us that any of the McLaren designers, if they wish to add an
idea for development, must clear it with others, in particular with him. He does not allow any new
development until he is explained, not only the rationale for it, but also the origins. He can say that,
if Mr Coughlan had come along and come up with any ideas, he would have had to explain the
origins to Mr Lowe’s satisfaction before this was pursued. This is not because Mr Lowe was
suspicious, but simply because he wanted to understand the origin of the idea.
Surely Mr Coughlan would say, “I had an idea last night”.
One does not simply “have an idea”. It must be provoked or promoted by something. All I can tell
you is that is what Mr Lowe would say. If you wish to ask him the question, we can call him on the
phone immediately. You can ask him the question. That is what he will tell you. That is what he
has told me, in terms.
If you think it would be helpful to your case, then by all means, contact him.
As I said, we are here to try to prove a negative. It is very difficult for us. We are charged with
possession. We have been completely transparent. You are being asked to draw an inference, by
Ferrari that some use might have been made of it. All we can do is offer you our premises,
undertake the best investigation that we can, then draw the conclusions that we have from it. In a
sense, it is very difficult for us. Had I thought it absolutely crucial for Mr Lowe to be here, he
would have been. I had hoped that his report would have been sufficient for your purposes. If you
want to be satisfied and here more from Mr Lowe, we will interrupt his day and get him on the
phone. I do not need to do that. You cannot find a chose proven against us and sanction us on a
basis for which there is no evidence. For the moment, there is no evidence that we have used it.
Mr Mosley himself has said that Mr Whiting has had conversations with Mr Lowe before Mr Lowe
did this report, was shown the document and was impressed by the detail. If it were seriously
asserted that any item on the McLaren car had emanated from Ferrari, that would have been at the
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 35
forefront of this hearing. The fact is that there is not. The reason for this is that it has not happened.
If the FIA wish to take advantage of the offer, they are welcome to do so. We offer that in full
knowledge that, if what I am saying today is found to be untrue, we will be very severely
sanctioned in consequence. That is as far as we wish to go.
Is that everything?
That was the facts. I will make some brief legal submissions, in relation to the charge, then subject
to any further questions, I will close.
The first legal submission if found in paragraph IV, sub-paragraph 2. page 8. After setting out the
core facts of our submissions, we state that: “there is no breach of Article 151 C as a matter of law”.
The charge under 151 C is the commission of acts, be they fraudulent, or likely to damage the
integrity of motor sport. Those must be acts of the charged person, meaning McLaren. There is no
evidence of any use of any of the Ferrari documents by anyone else at McLaren, other than Mr
Coughlan. If you convict my clients of this charge, you would have to do so, on the basis that the
acts of Mr Coughlan are to be attributed to McLaren. That only has to be stated to be seen to be an
absurd conclusion, whether under English law, French law or any other system of law. One does
not convict an employer for all acts committed by an employee unless done in a manner sufficiently
connected with the employment. You do not convict McLaren, if Mr Dennis commits a drunk
driving offence, for that is not in connection with his employment, but Mr Dennis’ personal
What Mr Coughlan did was outside the scope of his authority, in breach of contract, and was
contrary to instructions. It was done dishonestly, for his own purposes, own his own private time
and to the detriment of his employer. Those are the conclusions if one accepts, our core facts.
Under any system of law, these acts cannot properly or fairly be attributed to McLaren. That is
doubtless why we sit here alone, charged in relation to this sorry affair. If the act of Mr Coughlan
is to be attributed to his employer, so must you say that the acts of Mr Stepney must be attributed to
Ferrari, yet Ferrari does not stand charged today. We do not say that they should be charged.
Ferrari had been defrauded by its employee. But there is no material difference between the
position of Stepney with regard to Ferrari and Coughlan with regard to McLaren. In legal terms,
their position is exactly the same. Under English law, they would be termed as being “on a frolic of
their own”.
What does the International Sporting Code deem on this? Article 151 C does not offer help, for if a
party is charged, it must be for its own conduct. The only other article that might be referred to is
that cited by Ferrari in its memorandum. Article 123, headed “joint responsibility of competitor
and driver”, states: “the entrant shall be responsible for all acts or omissions on the part of their
driver, mechanic and passengers, each equally responsible for any breach of this code, or of the
natural rules of the ASM concerned.” This is clearly concerned with activities during an event, not
with activities of this kind. In any event, Mr Coughlan is not a driver, mechanic or passenger.
Article 123 deals with what might happen during a race, be it rally or Formula 1. If it is outside the
ambit of an event, then Article 123 is not engaged. It is not suggested that, under Article 123, if a
driver of a team crashes on a private road on his own time, the employer is responsible. Suppose a
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 36
mechanic commits a criminal offence, but not as a mechanic. Does that fall within the scope of
Article 123 as the responsibility of his team? Clearly not. Article 123 does not assist.
One is thus driven back to the broad legal proposition: under what circumstances is it fair to
attribute the acts of any employee to an employer? In this case, it is clearly not fair to attribute
them to McLaren for all of the reasons that we have given. If you conclude against that submission,
and feel that Article 151c of the International Sporting Code is capable of being construed in such a
way as to make McLaren responsible for Mr Coughlan’s acts, then the FIA must, as a matter of
general law, not discriminate between teams. And it would do so if it found McLaren liable, while
not pursuing Ferrari, for the equivalent acts of its own employee. Mr Stepney’s acts were at least as
bad, possibly worse; we don’t know, for Ferrari has not told us the product of its own
investigations. Doubtless, Mr Stepney has acted very badly indeed.
The obligation on any sports body not to discriminate between competitors is of fundamental
importance to the integrity of that sport. Otherwise, one creates an unfair competitive imbalance
between the teams, which undermines the whole credibility of the competition in which they are
both concerned. While Ferrari remains uncharged, you cannot in fairness and without
discrimination make McLaren liable in materially-similar circumstances.
When Angelo Santini, an ex-Ferrari aerodynamicist, stole confidential information, apparently on a
CD-Rom containing data files and technical drawings and took them to Toyota, resulting in his
conviction with another for industrial espionage, no charge was brought against Toyota, despite the
apparent similarities between the Toyota 2003 car and the Ferrari 2002 car. It is not my role today
to ask why no charge was brought against Toyota; but you discriminate against McLaren if you find
us liable in circumstances where you did not even charge Toyota – circumstances where you had
not just allegations, not just limited admissions, but a criminal conviction.
Could I then turn, lastly – I was going to deal with aspects of the Ferrari memorandum, but in light
of your comments, I will glide seamlessly over that – to the final section in my comments, which
has to do with sanctions. I am ready to deal with this as you wish. Sometimes it is thought
appropriate for a decision to be made on liability and any decision on sanctions to be made
thereafter. Alternatively, you may hear my submissions now.
It might be easiest for us to deal with the “yes or no” question, then if there is a decision on
sanctions, we would first tell you what we have in mind, then ask for your submissions.
I am ready to answer any questions that anyone may have. Then, subject to what Ron DENNIS is
about to say, those are my submissions.
Might I ask something?
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 37
You appear to be saying, on page 8 of your documents, that we cannot attribute Mr Coughlan’s
conduct to McLaren, based on English law.
I was not planning to take you to those.
It does seem to me a curious proposition that one can escape vicarious liability merely by telling the
employee not to do it.
That was not my submission, quite to the contrary. The issue of attribution depends on whether the
acts were within the scope of the authority. The classic pronunciation in Morris and Martin is to
draw a distinction between what is outside the scope of what was meant to be done and what is
inside the scope, but in a way not authorised. Mr Coughlan is authorised to design and do all the
things described by Mr Dennis. If he did so in an unauthorised manner, including the use of
someone else’s information, thus infringing copyright, that would be actionable. That is not the
matter in this case; there is no evidence of that. At hand is the receipt of another team’s
confidential information for whatever purpose. That is why, under English law, we are not liable
for his acts.
In page 90 of the Dossier and Paragraph 5 of Mr Coughlan’s affidavit, he describes what he does at
the Drawing Office. Later, he states that “Formula 1 teams closely monitor competitors and
routinely and extensively study photographic, onboard-camera, and other visual and sound
evidence to examine whether the performance of the team’s own racing car can be improved. From
this information,, I am closely aware of specific design features of other teams’ cars and am able to
make very accurate estimates of other design and performance features as other teams are with my
team’s car. In other words, he has a very good look, whenever possible, with help, at the other
teams cars and uses this in the course of his work. It is entirely within the scope of his work to
study the cars of the other teams. On this occasion, he did so with the assistance of illegitimatelysupplied
No, he was in possession of stolen Ferrari technical documents. His possession of those is the only
feasible basis for any charge against McLaren. Therefore, it is not a matter of looking at what he
was authorised to do and determine whether he was doing so in an unauthorised manner. He had
no authority to take possession of any other team’s intellectual property.
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 38
That is not what is being suggested. He had the authority to find out as much information as he
could about other teams’ cars, and did so in an illegitimate way.
You have conflated the first part of the paragraph, in which he describes his job responsibilities,
with a general statement about what Formula 1 teams do. I am instructed by Mr Dennis that it is no
part of Mr Coughlan’s role to closely monitor the activities of competitors, routinely or extensively.
Max, I fully appreciate the importance of trying to understand the legal position. I very much
appreciate the relevance of your question. I am not a lawyer. Everyone walks up and down the
Grand Prix grid, looking closely at other cars. Everybody commissions photographers to take
pictures of cars. I had the amusing experience of locking another person’s designer in the back of
our truck, as he scrutinised one of our cars, and leaving him there for an hour. There are so many
instances of people moving from team to team. There is a constant stream of exchange, with
people taking what is in their heads. I can tell you comfortably where materials originating from
McLaren sits on many other cars. Mr Coughlan, like many others in the organisation, is expected
to be aware of what goes on in Formula 1. However, from my own deep involvement in the last 24
days of this programme: there is nothing there. There is simply nothing in our organisation. You
may ask what was in his head. I can tell you about the DNA and about what is in other people’s
heads. We are not guilty of these crimes.
We are on a fairly narrow point. The very learned counsel acting for you has suggested that this
information is not within the scope of Mr Coughlan’s employment. I suggest that it was.
Everything you have just said tends to reinforce the suggestion that a certain legitimate form of
industrial espionage is standard practice in Formula 1. The only difference between what Mr
Coughlan and Mr Coughlan would normally do and what was done on this occasion was the
presence of stolen goods.
That is quite an interesting difference.
Indeed. It is precisely your point: that he was acting within the scope of his powers, but did so in
an illegitimate manner.
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 39
You have inferred, from the second part of the paragraph that such was Mr Coughlan’s role. He
does not even go to the Grand Prix. He does not commission the photographers.
I think you are splitting hairs. In that case, what can be said is that part of his work is the receipt of
information resulting from the activities that Ron has just described. Even more, then, is the receipt
of information of this within his duties. The only thing that occurred on this occasion was that he
received something stolen. I cannot escape from that.
It was not the information he was authorised to receive. It was not within the scope of his
employment to look at stolen document, but rather to consider design features. If he is provided
with information, then he will look at this, but only under circumstances, where that is done by
someone in McLaren, because McLaren wants him to consider it an improvement for the car. That
is what Mr Coughlan’s role is. It does not embrace meeting a Ferrari designer in Barcelona, not
telling his employer, not being instructed to consider it and doing what he will with it. This is not
within the scope of his authority or employment at all. It is quite different.
I will try once more, then give-up. Is the receipt of information about other teams’ cars within or
outside the scope of his pet.
It does fall within the scope if it is the receipt of information from within McLaren, with a view
toward using it to develop improvements to the McLaren car. It does not fall within the scope if it
is contrary to McLaren’s instruction, and not intended for use for those purposes.
We have understood what you are saying on this point.
On Article 123, you say it relates to an event. Where does it say this?
It is inferred: there is mention of the driver, mechanic and passengers.
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 40
Yes. But it refers to an entrant. McLaren is surely an entrant in the World Championship and is
thus responsible for everybody connected to it. There is no mention that this applies only to events.
It is inferred. Looking at the scheme, is it really suggested that the driver’s acts are the
responsibility of the company even when he is not driving?
Which acts of a driver?
For example, if the driver does something when not actually driving at the event but behaving in a
manner contrary to the interests of the sport, the entrant is responsible. We have had drivers in
front of the World council for saying rude things about the championship.
That would be the driver.
Yes, but if we wished, we could also call in the employer.
Yet you do not do so.
We do not have to, for he has a license. The difference is that a mechanic or designer does not have
a license. This is an old clause that has been expanded. Likewise, there is a clause stating that the
regulations may not be changed after the entry has closed. We take this as meaning the World
Championship. We would never change the regulation of the World Championship after the entries
were closed, unless everybody agreed.
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 41
That is quite clearly intended to mean that they are responsible. Even on your legal argument, I do
not see. Even the French text is very similar to the English. In response to Ron’s point, it is one
matter to say that McLaren is responsible for the employee, it is another to say that they are to be
sanctioned for what he did. We will probably take the view that what your employee does, as we
would see it, is your responsibility. But the circumstances make an enormous difference. That was
the first point.
There is a second legal point, after which we will embark on the more general discussion with the
Council members.
It is what I term your “Alice in Wonderland” argument, under which Ferrari is somehow liable.
Imagine two banks, where the employee of one bank steals from the first bank and gives the money
to the employee of another bank. You are saying that the police should prosecute the first bank,
and this does not make a great deal of sense to me.
The question is: in what circumstances is an employer liable for the acts of his employee. Let us
take Article 123, with the broad meaning you have given it. Is Ferrari an entrant? Yes. Is Mr
Stepney a mechanic? If we take that to include design, yes. Has he committed an act or omission
that is fraudulent, or such as to bring about an act prejudicial to the interests of any competition.
Where does the distinction lie?
It is not “Alice in Wonderland” at all; it is the reason why we should not be liable in the first place.
Mr Coughlan was no more authorised to receive this information than Mr Stepney was to steal it.
Mr Coughlan did that for his own purposes, unconnected with his employment. It is, with all due
respect, not Alice in Wonderland, but rather the reason why we find ourselves in a thoroughly
unjust and invidious position. We are as much victims of this as is Ferrari. He acted directly in
contradiction with his instructions and, for all we know, took McLaren information to other teams.
Why are the two situations so materially different that it is “Alice in Wonderland” to prosecute
Ferrari, but probable or proper and fair to make us liable? I am sorry, but I totally disagree with
Could you explain on what basis the police would prosecute the bank from which the money was
This is not about a criminal prosecution. It is being suggested that, under an International Sporting
Code, a team is responsible for the acts of its employees. It is not a matter of prosecution or
criminal offence, but rather whether it is right, in the industrial espionage discussed here, whether a
charge can be found against the employer of a transmitter or recipient of the information. If I may
respectfully say so, in the circumstances you posited, neither bank would be prosecuted, only the
employees would. They are the parties responsible. I am the employer, the victim. Why should I
be responsible.
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 42
Ferrari are the victim of somebody stealing something.
They have given it to your employee.
Your employee has had possession of it for two months.
Your employee and company have used it –
Your employee and company have used it-
Our company has used it?
Do you want to listen, or ask questions?
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 43
I’ll listen.
Your company has used it to pursue as complaint with us.
We are back at whistle-blowing, then.
Yes, what you term “whistle-blowing”. In the meantime, the employee has had the information for
an extensive period of time.
Not to our knowledge.
Possibly not.
Possibly not. We have no evidence one way or another.
You have a great deal of evidence that we did not. You have no evidence that we did.
This is true. The information has been with your employee for all of that time, and for some
reason, you think that Ferrari has committed an offence under the Sporting Code?
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 44
Yes, absolutely. They are just as responsible for the acts and omissions of their acts and employees
as we are. He was no more authorised to do what we did than we authorised Mr Coughlan to do
what he did. These are two rogue employees. Why discriminate between the employers? It makes
absolutely no sense to me at all. It is the employees who are responsible.
If it makes no sense to you at all, I am afraid I cannot help you any further.
I fear not.
That is everything. You have finished.
I would like to add something, Max.
As Jean referred to the Ferrari, Williams McLaren agreement, I would like to read something in
reference to a meeting held about it. The attendants were Luca Montezimilo, Jean Todt, Frank
Williams, John Healy, Ron Dennis and Martin Whitmarsh. I can read all of this, right?
Ferrari stated that it had, in general many of the same concerns and issues as Williams and
McLaren. Ferrari felt that the governing body was acting in an extremely autocratic manner and
was disappointed by the manner in which the FIA had implemented changes. In particular, Ferrari
felt very strongly that it accepted the concept of a one-engine. The text goes on and on, finally
reaching my point: “we agreed a common position on various things”. It talked about cost
reduction. I can read it all, but it does get more embarrassing. It talks about Ferrari’s philosophy,
then concludes: “it was agreed that the meeting had been worthwhile and that more of them would
be appropriate in the future to ensure that the three teams present were able to provide a more
unified position and resist external attempts to create external division between them.” That was
the meeting. I can promise you that, if I read it all out, there would be even more embarrassment.
There is no embarrassment, Ron; read it all.
It is irrelevant to this case, but it was a cherry pick. We did not actually formulate an agreement. It
was a behaviour. You and I both know, Max, that this has been unfairly spun. We presented our
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 45
case. This is clearly, as supported by the evidence, two individuals who operated independently,
solicited two jobs and offered a third. We were not involved. There is not a shred of evidence to
say that we were involved or incorporated intellectual property. We have been completely open
and will continue to do so in the future. To inflict any penalty on our organisation, which is
ultimately represented by me would be grossly unfair. We have nothing to hide; we did nothing
wrong. Perhaps one can criticise aspects of the last few months, but I took all of the decisions that I
deemed appropriate, and did not, under any circumstances, know of anything in relation with this
affair until 3 July. I took all of the necessary steps, as contained in my statement. Our behaviour
has been, I believe, exemplary. That is not the way it has been portrayed to the media. I have been
slurred personally and my company has been slurred, on nothing by hypothetical conjecture. There
is not one fact.
I understand what you are saying and have a certain amount of sympathy. We cannot escape,
however, that at 7:30 one morning, lawyers acting for Ferrari or for the court on behalf of Ferrari,
turned up at your Chief Designer’s house to find information from Ferrari. You cannot expect
nothing to be said.
It is not a question of what was said. We were involved in a process. The process was laid down
by the British High Court. It was very clear what each party to the process had to and could do. I
know that the FIA performed impeccably. I believe I have performed impeccably on this matter,
and I will go out of this World Council Meeting and my behaviour will continue to be impeccable.
I have values that I instil in our company and they do not entertain the use of other people’s
intellectual property. I am very measured, though I have occasionally lost my temper. We have
had differences of opinion in the past; we are not always of the same mind. But I know that you
respect me and believe that I am a truthful individual. We were not involved in this and should not
be penalised. The facts are there: the rogue employee did it. You have pulled my company into a
position where I could not defend it. I have defended it today, with passion, but I could not defend
it until today.
Usually, at this stage, we invite members of the World Council, to ask any questions that they may
wish to pose.
My question is for Ron Dennis and Jean Todt. Both employees presumably had contracts with their
companies. Under those contracts, were they allowed to leave and work for somebody else?
Nigel Stepney had contract until the end of 2007.
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 46
Michael Coughlan had a contract from 2002 to 2007, renewed the contract at the end of 2006
through to 2009. The contract is an extremely detailed one and the World Council has been
informed of the constraints and guidance to which he was subject under the contract and of which
he was in clear breach.
In other words, he could not have gone to Honda, or another company, to work.
Unfortunately, life is not quite as one would like it to be. There are huge quantities of people who
have comfortably and intentionally remained idle in organisations, dedicating their time to
complaints, criticism and whining about their employer. With Michael Coughlan, the constant
argument was directed at what we call the matrix system. Though not designed specifically for that
purpose, it is one of the mechanisms best-suited to preventing the use of others’ intellectual
property. Rather, it is designed to ensure that no one individual can bring down the organisation. It
happened with Jean Barnard, when he left the company, or other technical staff. The world has
seen that even with the loss of people like Adrian Newey, individuals poached from the company
do not collapsed the technical group. Nonetheless, everyone needs to know what is going on and
be part of the process. In essence, the individuals come in one day, normally on a Monday, and
hand in their notice. When reminded that they have a contract, they retort that they are so unhappy
and cannot work, etc. His argument was that he wanted to be a Technical Director. It is important
to understand that we do not have technical directors at McLaren and have not, since Adrian Newey
moved from the organisation. Prior to the end of his contract, Mr Coughlan did try to do so, but
that is another matter.
On page 40 of the McLaren bundle, paragraph 11, Mr Neale, in his affidavit refers to the 25 May
2007 meeting with Mr Coughlan. I am asking these questions because I wanted to learn more about
the meeting, which might have been the opportunity for the Ferrari documents to enter the McLaren
organisation. Could Mr Neale tell us about paragraph 11? You tell us that you had sight of some
Jonathan NEALE
During the month of May, Mike Coughlan had become increasingly emotional and acerbic and felt
frustration in his role. In particular, he was reacting to instructions from the various chief
engineers, competing for resources and pulling their cars in different directions. One of Mike’s
roles is to balance resources between the two cars – that of Pat Frye and that of Tim Goss. He felt
an erosion in his authority within the organisation.
At that meeting, I sought to take him to a relaxed environment in which I could seek to address
those issue. For those of you who know him or people like him, he is a creative individual in spirit
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 47
and can be an emotional individual. I have, on many occasions, settled him time. That is one of my
roles in the organisation. During the meeting, I pointed out to him the changes made at McLaren
over the last three or four years, emphasising that he had been material in deciding some of those,
particularly in the structure of the organisation, and that the pursuit of strength and depth inevitably
meant that there would tensions between some of the creative staff. On strength, we had backed
Mike, with regard to the development of the resources and processes he wanted to run, and I
personally valued his judgement on technical risk, as he oversaw a number of components put
before him.
The meeting took place in a public location and went very well. I felt that, 90 minutes into the
meeting, we had arrived at a point where he was settled enough. At the very end of the meeting, he
began to describe to me that he wanted to tell me something “in strict confidence”. Given the
nature and history of the individual, as well as things that had gone on previously, I naturally
expected that he was about to divulge a potential offer or threat of any offer from another
organisation. At that stage, I did not know that he had solicited employment with Toyota, and was
unaware that he had received an offer from Ferrari, though he had alluded to contact or an approach
from other teams, during the previous twelve months. It was not possible for me to determine
whether this was a cry for help or a real matter, but I was concerned enough to try to settle him
In saying that he wanted to tell me something “in strict confidence”, he put a bag on the desk and
sought to pull from it two pieces of paper. You will see in my statement that I was able to focus a
bit on one of the pieces of paper, but as he was seated at the table across from me, it was not
possible for me to know or determine what he had. At that point, whether we were going to get into
a detailed technical conversation or otherwise, it was not relevant to our discussion, and I did not
want to get into a strict conversation bout anything at that stage. I had met my purpose, which was
to meet him and settle him down.
I stopped him, put up my hands and said, “Mike, at this stage, wherever this conversation is going, I
do not think it is material, and if, as I suspect, you are about to tell me something that I wouldn’t
want to know, then I ask you not to do so and to destroy anything that you have. I said in my
statement that what I saw in know way reflected something that I would recognise as being a
Ferrari or any team’s livery. It was not that kind of image. I have tried as best I can, from
recollection, that image. We can only speculate as to where that conversation was going. I
honestly believed it to be an insignificant issue and at no point did he give me any reason to believe
that it was either Ferrari material, or part of a greater bundle or dossier.
In March of that year, you had been aware of some information arriving from Ferrari. When you
held that meeting in May, did it cause you to suspect that he, in fact, had Ferrari documents. Could
you tell us more about the bag being put on the table?
Jonathan NEALE
Obviously, I have reflected on this only after the event. I am aware, having seeing Mike’s affidavit,
of what he says. My speculation is that he was about to ask me for additional resource, as one
subject about which I am constantly badgered is providing additional money for various priorities
in the organization. It is my role to resolve those priorities. Mike had, for one year and a half, been
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 48
nagging me to go down a digital mock-up route, as do some other teams. I did not feel this was an
investment priority at that point and this was a point of difference between Mike and me. I
certainly did not want to get into the conversation and upset him, after we had just spent an hour
settling him down and were backing him.
How easy would it be to shortly hear from Mr Lowe? Is that technically possible.
Jonathan NEALE
It is technically possible. If, on the other hand, there is a specific question you have, perhaps we
could answer it.
Could we see if we could get Mr Lowe on the phone? In everybody’s interest, it might be better to
have a word with him.
(A ten-minute break ensues, during which the phone connection with Mr Lowe is established.)
Is this Patty Lowe? This is Max Mosley. You are speaking to the entire World Motor Sport
Council, Ron Dennis, Jonathan Neale and other luminaries from McLaren and Ferrari. We were
wondering if you could answer a few questions for us.
Mr Lowe, I am reading from your memorandum, in which you express your confidence that none
of the Ferrari documents or information could have been used by McLaren. You also, on the last
page, discuss the astonishment of the staff, in Engineering, when the information was learned of.
Can you please tell us about this, to bring it to life? It is always a bit difficult to read such
information in a letter; it is better understood orally.
I will explain a bit about the way we work. There are 150 engineers working in the same office,
which may sound frightening in terms of size, but the arrangement works very well. We are a very
close community and everyone knows what is going on. That is an important point. If there is
input into the pool, the source of which were not clear, the community would know that. We are a
very analytical organization as well, and work by analysis and logic. If there are spurious inputs
that do not appear rational with regard to the development process followed, these would stand out.
That is a general comment as to how we work as at team.
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 49
As regards specific roles, we have what we refer to as a matrix structure. There is a Chief Engineer
for each car, and this alternates each year. We have a two directors, myself and Neale Oakley. We
are the core technical leadership team. Mike reported to me as Chief Designer and therefore
managed the Design Team, itself one of five or six engineering teams. His role was essentially to
be in charge of the implementation of a car (i.e., the design of the parts, sign-off of the drawings,
approval of the drawings). That brought into play his great experience of designing Formula 1 cars,
whether with regard to the weight, stiffness or safety of each part. I put my trust in him for that.
I did not use him for the generation of a great deal of ideas; that falls within the scope of the chief
engineering domain. That did not mean that Mike could not have ideas. He was able to contribute
them to the pool, but his principal role was not the performance agenda. He was much more
involved in delivering the agenda that we defined. I believe you have been given a schedule today.
Mike was responsible for delivering the components represented by the programmes in the
performance schedule. He in fact did not design himself, either. He had a CAD station for viewing
designs, but his day-to-day work consisted of talking to engineers, reviewing what they were doing
and signing off on their drawings. At his level, he did not have time to actually design a component
You performed an audit in order to produce your memo. I wanted to understand the degree of
confidence one can have in that.
Jonathan NEALE
Could you expand on that?
In your memo, you have set out a systematic audit, where you looked for the potential influence of
Ferrari information on McLaren operations and at the end, reach the conclusion that there is none. I
wanted to know the degree of confidence we can have in that.
Jonathan NEALE
I am fully-confident that there is no influence on the car we have. I am confident because I know
Mike’s sphere of influence. He did not have control of the whole company. His influent was finite
within the company and even within engineering. I know what he was working on, where it stands
now, what stage it is in and I am confident in the originality of its derivation, having looked at all of
the examples either delivered to the car this year or applied to those to follow.
I am 100%-confident of that and have had a similar conversation with all of my colleagues and
Mike’s team. We all know what is going on, what is in the office, what is being worked. We are
100%-confident that this is our own work. This is something on which we pride ourselves greatly,
as you can imagine. We have achieved a good car this year, achieved through our own work and
ingenuity. The last thing we would want is to feel that this has been arrived at improperly.
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 50
Was Mike Coughlan working, at any stage, on the 2008 car?
Jonathan NEALE
He had started to look at it and get involved, most particularly on the transmission. That is a part
that we must get started on earlier than anything else, particularly with the challenge of ensuring
that it lasts for all four races.
Can you be sure that nothing he may have learned from Ferrari documents could have had an
influence on what he did for the 2008 car?
Jonathan NEALE
I can be totally confident in that, using the same rationale that I gave earlier: everything we do is
based on an analytical approach, in progression from what we have today. That is how Formula 1
cars develop, even though they end up at very similar performance levels, separated by only
fractions of a second. They are all different and come from quite independent strands of thinking
and development. I know how we have made each decision, in terms of thickness, weight or
mechanism. That has come out of our own original process.
In his affidavit, Mike Coughlan mentions the extensive surveillance of other cars and the use of
information from other cars, which takes place in the pit lane. How is this information used in
McLaren, when it comes in?
Much of that pertains to aerodynamic surfaces. Teams are always looking at what other teams have
done on the bodywork, for that is the visible portion. Aerodynamicists may view the new shape on
a Honda and this may promote thought, for instance that a given shape is more focused on airflow
rather than bodywork itself. This subsequently promotes new ideas for them, and that may promote
tests of their own. That is very much how the aerodynamic teams work in each company on the pit
lane. I think that is reasonably clear. Although I said earlier that the cars are different, they do
obviously take ideas where those are obvious from each other.
Nick Craw sent me some questions. Do you want to ask them?
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 51
I will pick them up later.
In the confidential memo that you wrote on March 16 to Charlie Whiting, you state, in the fourth
paragraph, that “we would like to consider the installation of a mechanism on the front of our floor
consisting of springs and pivots, as illustrated below”. Could you explain: were you actually
intending to install that on your car?
No, we were not. We wrote the letter in line with a protocol we have followed for some years, and
I believe that other teams take the same approach, adding a certain neutrality and objectivity to the
request. We were seeking an opinion from the FIA’s Technical Department. The protocol which I
follow is to ask whether we can do a specific thing, expecting that the answer will be in the
negative. We had no intention of putting that on the car. It is an approach we use. I do not want to
go to Charlie Whiting and report the action of a given team, stating that we feel it is wrong. The
protocol keeps matter neutral and objective. After all, we want an objective opinion from the FIA.
We respond accordingly: hence, if the action or mechanism is deemed acceptable, we can take that
opinion and proceed.
Mr Lowe, were you aware of the fact, in writing that letter to Charlie Whiting, that the information
had come from an e-mail from Mr Stepney into McLaren?
I did not know at all in what format the information had come in, but I did know that it had come to
Michael Coughlin via Nigel Stepney.
Who else was aware of that input, to your knowledge?
Martin Whitmarsh knew about it.
Thank you.
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 52
As there are no further questions, we thank you very much. You are entirely welcome to stay and
listen if you wish.
I would like to ask a question of Mr Neale.
Could I step in? McLaren has real difficulties with the concept of Mr Todt, who is not counsel for
these purposes, but rather present for Ferrari and hence with certain concerns, interrogating one of
my witnesses, here to answer questions from the Council. Of course, if Mr Todt wishes to subject
himself to similar questions from me, because there are all sorts of things I would like to know
from Ferrari which might be of assistance, then that is fine. Unless there is that parity, I do not
think it would not be appropriate.
Would you be happy if he asked me the questions?
Only if you are similarly happy for me to ask you to ask questions of him.
Do we want to know what is going on or do we not?
That is precisely my point. I am happy to have questions asked, if Ferrari is willing to field some as
well, for they have information to tell us that is relevant to this matter.
I have no problems asking questions.
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 53
Please go ahead with your question, then.
Shall I ask you or Mr Neale?
Please ask Mr Neale.
I understand that, through the person you call the “whistle-blower”, you learned of information
about our car, at the beginning of the season. I understand that communication was becoming
embarrassing and you decided to put a firewall between the computers to stop the influx of
information. Then, a meeting took place at a restaurant where, Coughlan stated he had something
important of which he wished to inform you. Once, he had stated that he had private information
from a competitor. Considering the values of the company that Ron Dennis mentioned earlier, why
did you not take any action after that to ensure that your Chief Designer would not be involved any
further with this matter, which would still be ongoing if we did not have the support of a
commercial person from an IT company, who informed us about this.
Jonathan NEALE
There are several pieces to this. Mr Todt appears to be trying to link whistle-blowing to the
activities that occurred between Mr Coughlan and myself during breakfast. This has already been
dealt with here, by Mr Mill.
Secondly, Mike did not say that it was “important”. I had no way of knowing where the
information came from. I did not know what I was seeing. To say otherwise is to stray from the
truth. He said, “In strict confidence, I want to show you something”. I did not know what I was
looking at. It was not material to my purpose of being there.
Was that your only question, for I have a few as well?
I am surprised that there was no further investigation to find out about these documents that were in
the hands of the chief designer.
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 54
It is a bit difficult to picture. You say that he showed you the documents. You say that “I
suspected from the manner in which Mr Coughlan produced them that he should not have had
them. I stopped him from proceeding any further with the conversation. My reaction was that I did
not want to inspect further or know anything about this”. You did not, as he was your Chief
Designer, ask him: “What are those documents and where did you get them?”?
Jonathan NEALE
With the benefit of hindsight, which I did not have at the time, many things might have been done.
He did not hold out his arm with the documents, as you just did in your example. He tried to take a
couple of pictures out and I stopped the process. I did not know what it was. I did not want to
know what it was. It was not material to our purpose at that time. Nothing about what I saw led me
to think that it was labelled or technical. There was a quick flash of an image and I stopped it.
But you knew – and I think this is the point that is trying to be made – that he was in touch with
Coughlan, and you knew he had confidential information from him earlier in the season and that
you had put the firewall up.
Jonathan NEALE
I understand the point that is trying to be made and I dispute it. Mr Coughlan came to me the week
after Australia with some concerns, and I gave him some instructions. I thought I had dealt with it.
He then came back to me after the Bahrain Grand Prix and said he still had some concerns, so I
took additional steps to deal with it, as you see in my statement. I thought the matter to be dealt
with. I did not link the two with the breakfast meeting at that time.
It did not enter your mind at the breakfast meeting that this may have been more Ferrari material?
Jonathan NEALE
No, not at the breakfast meeting.
Why did you tell him he should destroy it, if you did not know what it was?
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 55
Jonathan NEALE
Because the manner in which he produced the material gave me concern. I did not want to know
about it. I was in firewall mode.
You wanted to turn a blind eye.
Jonathan NEALE
Not at all. That is an inference. That is not the case.
What did you want to do?
Jonathan NEALE
I wanted not to infect McLaren with anything that he may or may not have had. But I did not
You did not think that it might be better, rather than infect McLaren – because that would not
necessarily have been the outcome – to find out what he had, then take the appropriate steps.
Jonathan NEALE
At the time, I did not think so.
You did not think you should perhaps mention to Mr Whitmarsh or Ron Dennis that he had some
suspicious documents for you to say or to tell him he should destroy them?
Jonathan NEALE
Nothing about what had happened alerted my suspicion to that level, so I considered the matter to
have been dealt with.
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 56
[transcription based on simultaneous interpretation – subject to correction by original Spanishlanguage
In your statement, under oath, you mentioned that at the end of the luncheon in the country club,
you were seated at either side of a round table. Right after the lunch, Mr Coughlan showed you
documents. Did he show you documents, or he whole package of 780 pages? What did he actually
put on the table: just two pages with a few drawings, or the entire package of 780 pages.
Jonathan NEALE
Let me be clear. At no time did Mike Coughlan show me 780 pages or give me reason to believe
that he had that. He flashed two images. Nothing that I saw connected him to Ferrari or Stepney,
from that conversation. I did not know what I was looking at.
[transcription based on simultaneous interpretation – subject to correction by original Spanishlanguage
However, you also declared that he pulled those pages out of a bag that was on the floor. You
could not check that he had further documents. You assumed that he had only the two pages which
he flashed at you. Is this correct?
Jonathan NEALE
You are making two points. The first point is that they came from a bag; rather, they came from a
brown envelope folder, that was about this size [indicating with hands]. Lately, learning the
information that I have, I have gone back to think about what 780 pages might look like, and
believe them to be about this big [indicating with hands].
[transcription based on simultaneous interpretation – subject to correction by original Spanishlanguage
Thank you. Indeed, I was thinking of a bag, but your answer is very clear.
If the breakfast meeting between Mr Neale and Mr Coughlan was primarily focused on discussion
of his future at McLaren and his desire, possibly, for more resources for his projects, is it at all
possible that the document he pulled out was related to that, and could have been a McLaren
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 57
Jonathan NEALE
There are two answers to that. The purpose of the meeting was not to discuss additional resources.
It was only to settle Mike down and reaffirm his role. Anything beyond that is but speculation on
my part. I am unable to give a clearer picture.
But you had a suspicion of some sort sufficient to direct him that that document should be
Jonathan NEALE
By the way in which he produced the document, I was unsure as to where the conversation was
going, and wanted to be absolutely sure that, at that stage, he knew I did not want to become
involved in a conversation.
Yet you were not at all curious as to what the document was?
Jonathan NEALE
I was curious, but I deemed it to be a sufficiently low-level issue that I dealt with it at the time.
Thank you.
I do not understand how, if you did not know what the document was and only the manner in which
h produced it raised suspicion, why was the document to be destroyed?
Jonathan NEALE
I did not say that. I said he prefaced this with, “in strict confidence” and this was bound to alert my
suspicion, given that I thought he was going to produce a contract.
But why did you say the document was to be destroyed? What was it necessary to destroy it?
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 58
Jonathan NEALE
I only said that if it was something that he should not have, he should destroy it. I am not trying to
pick a point of detail, just to provide a clearer answer.
Are there any other points?
Something strikes me as a bit strange, and I am sure that you have the right answer: why did
Coughlan want to give that document to you?
Jonathan NEALE
I do not know. I have not had an opportunity to have that conversation with Mike. I have
speculated as to what it might be and suspect that it was a pitch for resources. It would be unlikely
for Mike to have technical conversation with me as I am not “technical” in Formula 1 terms.
It is simply strange that someone unhappy at McLaren would want to give something to McLaren
that would be helpful to it.
Jonathan NEALE
We are speculating, but if it is helpful to do so, he may have been seeking the opportunity to
persuade me again to pitch for additional resources, as he had done over the previous eighteen
months. However, this is just conjecture.
Could I add something?
Our process has been very carefully explained by several people here. You have also spoken to
Patty Lowe. It would be inappropriate to feed this information through Jonathan Neale whatever
the case. He would not be the right conduit into the organisation. Jonathan’s position is
administrative; he does not have any technical responsibilities.
Secondly, I am watching this person trying to answer questions and being subjected, effectively, to
scrutiny of his integrity. You should know that I headhunted him from BA Systems. He headed
one of the most important military programmes in our country. He has been with my company for
over ten years. He has the highest level of integrity. He has a most senior position in our
organization. He has a budget available to him approaching ? 1 million. I know that he would not
embrace this situation. He has not done that. What he tells you is the truth. Appreciate the
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 59
background of the individual giving you these answers. This is not some whimsical individual.
This is a person who has come from a very prominent position in a very important project and we
are lucky to have him in the company.
That is quite clear from the beginning of his statement.
I watch him being intimidated and do not like it.
Ron –
I am just being defensive.
Please do not think that we are intimidating anybody.
I feel intimidated!
He is not intimidated. You may be, but he is not.
I know that we want to reach the truth. I appreciate that it is difficult to understand, when we now
know the importance of the document, or what he may have been, how it might have been a trivial
moment, but it was at the time.
You need to understand that, on the one hand, the document was sufficiently sensitive for Mr Neale
to have told him to put it away, stating that he did not want to see it, and saying that it should
possibly be destroyed. On the other hand, it was not sufficiently sensitive for Mr Neale to have any
curiosity as to what it was or to report it to Mr Whitmarsh.
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 60
If you knew the nature of this beast, you would understand. I can tell you that what he says
happened is exactly what happened. This was not a situation where Mr Neale had awareness of
Ferrari involvement in the affairs of our company. I was not there, but that is what I believe.
Have we finished on the breakfast and the breakfast document.? If so, I and others probably have
questions about what transpired between you, Mr Neale and Mike Coughlan.
In Paragraph 6, you say that “having read press reports about Mr Stepney’s increasing unstable
relations with Ferrari, and what appeared to be increasingly erratic behaviour on the part of Mr
Stepney, I formed the view that no good could come from Mr Coughlan’s having any
communication with him”.
When did the press reports appear, if you can remember more or less?
Jonathan NEALE
I can be specific. The first articles started to appear in early February, perhaps on February 1st.
However, as you will recognise, in Formula 1, such matters escalate quite quickly. I was aware of a
background in January, but it was not until around the Australian Grand Prix that I became as
concerned as I said in my statement.
You were concerned enough to stop the communication, but not concerned enough to receive the
information relating to the reports.
Jonathan NEALE
No, that is not what I am saying. Mike came to me, expressing some concern. If a person comes to
me from my team and expresses concern, it is natural that I will respond to that. Against the
backdrop of what was happening in Formula 1, and I was aware of this through the press cuttings,
which I see every day, learning of Mr Stepney’s dissatisfaction at Ferrari and his actions relative to
whistle-blowing, I was naturally concerned.
Then comes the moment when you put up the firewall.
Jonathan NEALE
After the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 61
What exactly was that? For normally, if the aim is to reject e-mails from a specific person, the
computer can be programmed not to accept them. Is that what you mean by a firewall?
Jonathan NEALE
After the Bahrain Grand Prix, when Mike said he had been unable to stop the unsolicited
information from Mr Stepney, I considered what other steps I could take. It seemed natural to
install a computer firewall. The firewall sits on our servers and prevents any information entering
and reaching as far as Mr Coughlan’s laptop. It is trapped by the central part of the system before
arriving at Mike’s computer.
Did you have any conversation with Mike about his personal computer or personal e-mail?
Jonathan NEALE
No, I was not party to a conversation about that.
Surely, if you were helping him to stop communication from Mr Stepney, you would also want to
arrange his personal computer so he could not receive personal e-mails from Stepney. Otherwise,
Stepney would follow the route that we know he has followed.
Jonathan NEALE
I understand the point you are trying to make, but dispute that. It is very difficult to stop someone,
if they are really determined, from making contact. I took the steps I felt were necessary to protect
McLaren, having given a clear instruction to Mike to cease contact. I have to accept, at some level,
that the individual takes responsibility for that as well.
You could have offered Mike Coughlan that your IT teams go in to sort out his computer, yet you
did not.
May I point out that the contact was made through his wife’s computer? We now know that
because of the search. I understand the point, though.
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Paris, 26 July 2007 62
Ron, if you want to cut someone off, you do so. I must ask this question, because it is on
everyone’s mind. If you want to stop the communication, there is the computer at McLaren, then
there is the computer at home. There might be five of them, for all we know. When asked the
question as to whether you also did something there, then, the answer is no.
Jonathan NEALE
The answer is no because Mike was not specific as to how this contact was being made. It was a
secondary level of defence, in response to Mike’s second warning that Mr Stepney had come back
and made unsolicited contact.
When he said to you, “I think I need to go to see him”. I was immediately struck by the idea of the
trip to Barcelona. Why not say, “Nigel, we are old friends. This is too embarrassing; I do not want
anymore information.” There is no need to go to Barcelona.
Jonathan NEALE
One would assume so. However, on several occasions, Mike told me that he had tried and was
unsuccessful. That appeared, at the time, the next logical step.
Going to Barcelona is much more consistent with going to pick up 700 pages of documents than to
ceasing communication.
Jonathan NEALE
I dispute that.
Do you think it fits the pattern, when according to his affidavit, Coughlan called Stepney to arrange
the meeting, he solicited and obtained information about the brake balance at that point?
Jonathan NEALE
Again, that is speculation. However, since you mention Mike Coughlan’s affidavit, you will see
that he mentioned he was told to cease communication with Stepney at that meeting. That is a
more valid piece of data.
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Paris, 26 July 2007 63
Are you saying that it is speculation that he asked Stepney for that information about the brake
Jonathan NEALE
No. I am saying that, if it is so stated in his affidavit, then one would believe it to be true.
One would assume this.
Having arrived in Barcelona, for the express purpose of saying that he no longer wants any
information, he sits down and has lunch with Stepney – again, according to the affidavit – and they
have a nice discussion about slides and drive shafts, and what not.
Jonathan NEALE
As I said, we look forward to having our conversation with Mr Coughlan.
Then, of course, he takes the documents and comes home with them. Somehow, it does not look
right. Imagine you are not McLaren, but rather the Council, and are trying to see what is
happening. You would expect that someone would be able to pick up the phone, rather than pay the
fare – or have the fare paid — to Barcelona. Using the phone, he could simply say exactly the same
thing, programme his computer to receive no e-mails and not take calls from any associate of Mr
Stepney. Why the journey?
Jonathan NEALE
That was at Mike’s instigation, after what I presumed to be a series of unsuccessful steps.
You did not ask him, “Do you really need to do this? Can’t you just pick the phone up and say this
must stop?”
Jonathan NEALE
At the time, Mike said that his relationship had spanned some years, and felt it more appropriate to
see Nigel to stop it, and felt he would be more successful this way, as he stated in his affidavit.
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 64
Did you know, as stated in his affidavit, he had not heard from Stepney for five years, until 1
Jonathan NEALE
No, I did not know that.
That is all from me. Any further questions?
I am curious as to why this person kept insisting on talking or giving information. If you insisted
on talking to me and I did not want to talk to you, you can be assured that I would not talk to you. I
am not saying that something is wrong; I am curious. Here is a person continually saying he has
information and offering it to another, when that other has already said he does not want to listen.
Jonathan NEALE
Presumably, Mr Ecclestone, in order to have two people to stop talking, it takes willingness on both
parties to do so.
I was simply wondering why they kept talking.
Jonathan NEALE
This is something over which we can speculate now, now that all of the facts have emerged. At the
time, I made the decisions I thought were correct.
Possibly, Coughlan was indeed going to leave McLaren, as I believe he had said. Perhaps he
wanted to keep the information flow up, in case he should go somewhere else.
Jonathan NEALE
That is entirely plausible, as we have said earlier in our statements: that these were two rogue
individuals acting to tout themselves around the Formula 1 paddock. Once again, I look forward to
having that conversation with him.
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 65
This is clearly only within Mr Coughlan’s knowledge, but it is curious that, if he was plotting with
Stepney to go to Honda – all speculation on our part – why was he so anxious to cease
communication, at least officially? You are entitled to say that you do not know, but do you see
that it does not fit?
Jonathan NEALE
Many things about this that are strange. We have not had the opportunity to question him about
this. Suffice it to say that we have no knowledge of this material. It has not been used, and I firmly
believe that the two individuals were acting for their own interests.
It is now five minutes past one. Shall we adjourn for lunch?
Before Mr Stoker asked questions, resulting in Mr Lowe’s being contacted, I thought we had drawn
proceedings to a close. You were suggesting that you did not want to hear from us on sanctions. If
the position is still the same, that might be a logical place at which to stop.
I think there will be questions for Ron Dennis, then a few more for Mr Neale.
Oh, that is fine then.
You did also say that you wanted to ask questions of Jean Todt.
My questions for Mr Todt will be quick. However, if there are questions for Mr Neale and Ron
Dennis, then we do not want to keep everyone waiting.
Can we continue? I would like to get this over with.
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 66
This may take some time. The next phase is that we will have to consider the matter within the
Council, then we will ask you to come back in.
I appreciate that, but wanted to only finish with our own portion.
Why not have lunch, then we will all reconvene at 2:15 PM?
I had a question related to the last part, about the firewall. We were in the process of signing a
protocol of conduct with McLaren. McLaren was bothered by this contact with Stepney. Why was
the simple response not to inform us about it, and stop any kind of communication. It was
completely related to the type of conduct we wanted to take and would have stopped aggravation of
this case. Why was this not pursued?
The only contact the Stepney had made as far as we were concerned was the whistle-blowing. I
was completely oblivious to any other contact with Stepney, other than the whistle-blowing.
Jonathan Neale, on the other hand, was not.
Jonathan Neale knew nothing about the negotiations I was having with Ferrari. It was not within
his remit. He was running the company. He had no knowledge of the Ferrari situation. That was
conveyed by myself and the Ferrari Legal Department.
Mr Mosley, if the members of the Council have finished with our confidential document, we would
have it back.
(The session is suspended from 13:10 to 14:10.)
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 67
We were in the process of posing questions to Mr Neale. We can now ask whether there are more
questions for him, and ask him whether he has any further comments. It is fair to say that not
everyone is terribly happy about what happened at the famous breakfast meeting.
Jonathan NEALE
I do not have anything further to say at this time.
Does anybody have a question to ask Ron Dennis?
I have one or two very brief questions.
Do you accept that, when it came to your knowledge that a senior employee in another team was
feeding information to yours, you should have alerted the other team?
Are you referring to the time of the Australian Grand Prix?
To be honest, I believe that my behaviour in this circumstance was absolutely impeccable. First of
all, I came into the process at quite a late stage. I was totally supportive of the actions being taken,
namely to inquire of the FIA. I made it explicitly clear to those who needed to know that the
process would not lead to protest against Ferrari, regardless of the outcome, and that they should
stop pressing me for that action. I felt that the exchange of correspondence between Charlie and
our people was productive. I was very agitated by photographs that were taken of the device on
Saturday. The device is, if you wish to see it, not just one installed for a specific purpose, but also
one with an electrical lead going to it, such that it was clearly measuring and putting into the car of
the knowledge of how much is moved.
Are you referring to the floor device?
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 68
The pictures we have shows that this device has a cable leading to it with a plug. If something is
rigidly fixed, its movement does not need to be measured. I can only believe, then, that it was an
active device or measuring. That wound me up.
Then I considered what the right course of action was, regarding the fact that Stepney had done
this. Did I feel it was appropriate to blow the whistle on the whistle-blower? I did not believe that
the be the appropriate course of action. I saw – and did not hear – an argument that took place in
public, between Jean Todt and Whitmarsh, which looked seedy and made me uncomfortable for our
team. I did engage with Ferrari to find a more disciplined and gentlemanly approach to react
together. The next time we knew of anything involving Stepney was the 3rd of July.
I fully appreciate what has gone on and feel I was pretty well-disciplined in the affair. I controlled
the team from being outspoken about it.
And you did not feel, when you signed the so-called gentleman’s agreement, that this may be the
I thought the matter was over and that Stepney was no longer a part of Ferrari. Clearly, from
everything being said, he was not a particularly stable individual whatever the case.
If no else has further questions of Mr Dennis, or more generally, of the McLaren legal team, then
Mr Mill, you may make a comment.
I would like to take up the opportunity to which Mr Jean Todt has very kindly agreed.
Mr Todt, has Ferrari conducted any investigation within Ferrari as to what Mr Stepney was in fact
doing from March of this year?
Let me go through the different events. About one week before the Monte Carlo Grand Prix, we
had suspicions about Nigel Stepney’s tampering with a machine. This was the first time we had
clear evidence that he could be damaging the team. From that point, he was questioned by the
police and denied any form of negative action against Ferrari. We did not see him anymore in the
company thereafter. Over the following days, he abused of the Ferrari credit card he had and the
next time we heard of him was through Mr Coughlan’s affidavit.
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 69
Thank you.
Once you had ascertained that Mr Stepney had apparently stolen a number of Ferrari documents,
did you then conduct an investigation within Ferrari to determine what he had taken?
Once we heard about the documents, we tried to understand what they were, investigated whether
he could have had support from Ferrari employees, but did not find any positive conclusion.
Have you interrogated, through Quest, the Ferrari computers used by Mr Stepney to ascertain
whether there were any relevant e-mails, downloads or relevant computer information that would
tell Ferrari what Mr Stepney was doing?
I would like to ask Massimiliano Maestretti, who has been following the matter very closely from
the outset, to answer.
Massimiliano MAESTRETTI
The computers were taken by the Italian police, which is investigating the matter, looking precisely
for what my colleague just asked.
Is it correct to state that, because the Italian police are investigating, then Ferrari does not know
what information there is?
Massimiliano MAESTRETTI
The computers were immediately seized by the Italian police, hence we are not in a position to
assess them.
Are you not entitled to ask for an image copy of the computer, so that you may study it? That is
what takes place in England.
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Paris, 26 July 2007 70
You have not asked to do so. Is it correct that you are not able to tell this council whether Mr
Stepney might have been in receipt of any McLaren international property, from Mr Coughlan.
You do not know one way or the other. Is this the true position?
Mr Todt?
I am going to answer. I am simply digesting the question, if you do not mind.
Not at all.
Thank you.
I must say that I find the question very funny, if I may so in this kind of circumstance. What is
certain is that, from early March, information has been leaking from Ferrari to McLaren: some
definitely so, and some perhaps transferred to McLaren. We know that the person supplying
information was Mr Stepney. I would been very surprised if Mr Coughlan was giving information
to Ferrari.
I was not suggesting that he was giving it to Ferrari, Mr Todt. I was suggesting that it was given to
Mr Stepney. It is not the same.
I cannot answer. How could I know?
Exactly. Thank you.
If it subsequently emerges that Mr Coughlan did provide McLaren information to Mr Stepney, do
you accept that because Mr Stepney was your employee, you should be disciplined and punished by
this Council for receiving that information?
I will not answer this kind of speculation, because it is not a proper matter.
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 71
This is an entire hypothetical question, is it not?
To be more precise, if you ask what I would do: most definitely, if I were signing an Agreement of
Conduct, I would not be able to face my partner, ask him to sign and at the same time, have
knowledge that we were receiving information. My approach would be to inform and explain what
is happening, for the health of the sport and the business.
Are you able to help with this? You have, through the Court Order in England, had access to four
computers at Mr Coughlan’s home. You have had the computers and access to them since 3 July.
Have you found any document on those computers suggesting communication of information from
Mr Coughlan to McLaren of Ferrari technical information. I ask this because, once again, we have
not had access to these computers and do not know.
I want to be precise and will ask Mr Maestretti or Duncan
The checking of materials on the computers has not been completed; nothing has been found of the
nature that you described.
Thank you very much.
I would like to point out that Crawl carried out the investigation within a period of six days.
I thought you said it would take four months.
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Paris, 26 July 2007 72
The four months are required to check the servers for any possible download from them to hard
disk. We will pursue this. We do not believe this is a one-way street. The analysis of Coughlan’s
personal computer was another matter entirely.
Are there any further points?
Could I make one further point on the subject of vicarious liability, which has been suggested as
applying to my client in this case?
I would ask the Council to remember that the search order was at Mr Coughlan’s home, not at
McLaren. I would ask them to bear in mind that McLaren is not a defendant. If it were thought
that, under English law, McLaren were vicariously liable for the actions of Mr Coughlan, or that
McLaren were acting other than in a way stated, it would be a defendant to those proceedings, but it
is not. The reason for this is that, despite what the President has said, an action against McLaren
for vicarious liability under these circumstances, would fail. That is why there are not defendants.
If it would fail before an English court of law, with the greatest of respect, you should not make us
liable before this tribunal.
Are you not getting ahead of yourself in saying that McLaren is not a defendant? It is not at the
moment, but it is not for you to say whether it may become so in the future. This is not an
assumption that you can legitimately make.
I can address the current position. Normally, if proceedings are commenced against one party, they
are commenced against all relevant defendants. The basis on which you would suggest that we are
liable, was one available to Ferrari when it started the action. It did not rely upon anything else.
All they needed to know, in order to found liability against us, was that Mr Coughlan had gained
possession of the documents and copied them. That was the information with which they went to
court. That is the information on which McLaren has been sued. Particulars of the exchange have
been drafted, served and exchanged all over the world’s press, but no allegations were made against
McLaren. If, on the other hand, it was thought by the English lawyers that, in order to found
liability against McLaren it was necessary to show something more than what Mr Coughlan had
done, I could understand why, at some point in the future, we might be joined. That was not the
case on the basis of what I understand to be the concern of this President and this hearing, today.
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 73
Mr Mill, though I do not have your legal insight, it might be that, having made a complaint to the
FIA; Ferrari may wait for the outcome of that before commencing any other proceedings.
Certainly, your point is noted as is your opinion on the matter. It is also well-known to the Council
that, whenever a case goes to court, there are two counsels often leading, and one is invariably
You also have the benefit of Mr Stoker, who is entirely independent, but also an eminent English
barrister. I do not know his opinion and do not wish to know, but am sure that you will take that
into account as well.
He mentioned to me, seeing as you bring this up, a case involving the Post Office at the beginning
of the last century, in which the Post Office was held liable for the theft by the postman. No doubt
he had been instructed not to thieve from the post bag.
Happily, the jurisprudence of the English courts has moved on since the beginning of the 20th
century, and we rely upon a case slightly more current, namely the House of Lords in 2002
We all rely on cases. It is better not to speculate as to what Ferrari might do, certainly not as an
element to be taken into account here.
So be it.
I would like to make a short point, to explain the history of the litigation thus far in England.
Ferrari learned from a third-party, outside Formula 1, that documents had been scanned at the
request of Trudi Coughlan. Thus, from the very beginning of the case, it was not a case wherein
Ferrari has information enabling it to sue McLaren, but rather Ferrari wanting to safeguard its
material. This began, then, with a search order to seize Ferrari’s property wherever it was. That is
why both Trudi and Mike Coughlan are defendants. The points of claim were built by what Ferrari
learned through the legal process thus far. Those points are a public document in London. Though
Ferrari has not been giving the points of claim to other people, they are available at the court in
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 74
From this point, it is open to Ferrari to decide what action it wishes to take.
Thank you.
This body applies the rules of the international federation, and Sporting Code, not the laws of
England. It is understandable that, if my learned colleague believes that the latter govern these
proceedings, he can reach the conclusions he had. Yet they do not apply here. Here, the sporting
regulations apply. In addition to what has been mentioned so far, I would remind you that three
provisions of the International Sporting Regulations apply here: Article 3 of the 2007 regulations,
stating that drivers, competitors and officials participating in a championship undertake on behalf of
themselves, their employees and agents to observe all provisions, as supplemented and amended by
the International Sporting Code, the Formula 1 technical regulations, etc. Article 6 states that it is
the competitors – in this case, McLaren – responsibility to ensure that all persons concerned by its
entry observe all the requirements of the agreement, code, technical regulations and sporting
regulations. Article 13.2 states that application to take part in championship shall include
confirmation that the applicant has read and understood the agreement, including the schedule,
code, technical regulations, etc. This suffices to indicate that McLaren, as a competitor, is
responsible for the actions of its agent, and in this case, top agents, even if they are unknown to
McLaren or the CEO.
Mr Mill, would you like to make a few comments?
I would like to say a few words.
I have sat through a very painful process today, and for the past 24 days. There is inevitable
jostling over what regulations or laws apply here. I try to apply common sense. I am unaware of
any hard evidence that, in any shape or form, involves my company. You may feel that you wish to
criticise the actions of some of the people in my company and, perhaps my own. We have been
very clear about what has taken place, and about our conduct. How I can be challenged on my
conduct leaves me in awe of what has taken place in the last 24 days. These have been painful
days: I have seen most of my life’s work dragged through the newspapers – mostly the gutter
newspapers. The Council, I believe, is composed of fair sporting-minded individuals, not an
assembly of lawyers. They are people who care about the sport and want to help it advance. I want
to put this behind me, I want to look ahead and experience a great world championship. I do not
want it to be under a cloud, which says that McLaren did something wrong. No one is perfect. I
am certainly not perfect. Our behaviour in this matter, today and in the past 24 days, is the correct
behaviour of a Grand Prix competitor. I could have done far more damage to the sport in not
staying quiet. I took steps, and thought they were the eight steps. I was ready to work with Ferrari
in this matter. Ferrari rejected this and chose its own path. I am comfortable with my actions and
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 75
with the company’s actions. I ask you, please, to put the sport first. This has done nothing for
Formula 1, for our team or for Ferrari – as it should not. Please use your hearts as well as your
Thank you very much. Thank you for your submissions. If you wish to wait outside, we will now
We want to make a number of points. There are a number of facts and we have not had a chance,
Mr Chairman.
Quickly, then.
I just want to discuss the brake system issue. The newspapers and the chronology show that this is
a very relevant issue. Ferrari’s brake system, presented here as being of no interest in that it goes
back to the old days of Ferrari’s FDD subsidiary in England, ten years ago. Mr Almondo can
confirm this, if needed, but as everybody knows, the brake systems are entirely different today.
Are you disputing the evidence that the brake system shown by Coughlan to Taylor was, for all
practical purposes, the same hydraulic brake system that he played a part in designing ten years
Yes, we are. This is why we need to address it. The brake system from ten years ago is a
mechanical system.
I may have inverted the two: one is hydraulic and one is mechanical.
The brake system developed in the old days was mechanical, now, it is hydraulic. The previous
system was not progressive, as we can explain if necessary. Since 2006, we have adopted a
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 76
progressive system. This is very important: on the braking system, McLaren did not simply receive
information passively from Mr Stepney, but requested additional information and drawings from
Ferrari and received it.
That is not quite fair.
Mr Coughlan asked Mr Stepney on the telephone whether the movements of the Ferrari driver’s
right hand were adjusting the brake balance. He received the reply that they were. He
subsequently gave the drawings of the brake balance system.
We then agree that Michael Coughlan asked for information or confirmation and received it. That
is a valuable piece of information. Then, explanatory drawings were given to him, and we can only
imagine that Mr Stepney did this because he was required to do so. This is in April-May. It was an
ongoing process. This shows that additional people at McLaren were involved in collecting
information. This information, if requested by McLaren and therefore presumably used, was
indeed important then.
That is not quite fair. The information requested by Coughlan related to whether the system was
adjusted. Nothing in the document suggests that McLaren for further information; rather, the
evidence shows that Stepney volunteered the drawings subsequently. Then, according to the
evidence, they were shown to Taylor, who dismissed them. This may or may not be true, but such
is the evidence.
Our point is that, on the braking system, information was actively sought by McLaren and this
occurred in April-May. It shows that there was an ongoing flow of information, part of which was
requested. Moreover, it did not go only to Mr Coughlan, but to other parties at McLaren.
It is a pity we did not have a statement about this.
Perhaps. We have one further point.
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Paris, 26 July 2007 77
(in response to signs of impatience from McLaren) They are entitled to make their points; there is
no use in huffing and puffing.
We listened to you for three hours.
They had every opportunity to ask questions.
They are not asking questions, they are making statements, and we will give them whatever value
we think appropriate.
The material point is as follows. We describe this as a “poker player” situation. McLaren knew
what Ferrari’s game was, because all of the information was in the hands of their top designer – a
person at the head of a 156-designer team. He knew Ferrari’s car in full. When playing poker,
such an advantage is huge. Using information is not only about applying it to one’s car directly, but
about knowing the main competitor’s strengths and weaknesses, and then adjusting your own plans
and actions on that basis.
Everybody has heard, from Mr Lowe, the exact extent to which there is any degree of possibility of
influence on the McLaren car. He has told you that he is 100%-confident. I ask you to accept that
as the relevant material, not an inference that Ferrari would ask you to draw, based on inaccurate
assumptions. Secondly, as far as Mr Taylor is concerned, it is extremely invidious that, at the very
end of this process, someone has seen fit to challenge Mr Taylor’s evidence. Had we known, he
could have been here to answer why he did this. The McLaren braking system is a mechanical one,
not a hydraulic one, like Ferrari’s. Mr Taylor is not here, unfortunately, and I cannot say what
caused him to be unable to say whether the document was of old or new provenance. You have his
evidence as to what he believed the case to be. He looked at the document only briefly and
dismissed it from his thoughts. It had nothing to do with McLaren’s brake systems, whether in the
past or the present. I am very sorry that Mr Taylor is not here to assist. Had we known it would be
relevant, we could have done something. We ask that you take no account of what Ferrari has just
There is no question as to a hydraulic system now being fitted on the McLaren.
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Paris, 26 July 2007 78
This is one topic on which Charlie is knowledgeable. He could, I believe, confirm to the World
Council that our braking system is entirely different from that of Ferrari, with regard to both design
and concept.
I do not think that this is in dispute. Charlie, the two systems are indeed different, and both quite
clever, I believe.
They are both quite clever, yes, and completely different.
That is the point. They are completely different.
Does anyone have any further comment whatsoever?
So much remains to come out. We have heard statements and comments on many issues from both
Ferrari and McLaren, but in myself, I do not feel that we have reached the bottom
Ron actually said that, indicating that there is far more here than meets the eye.
I believe that is true. I do not believe that this is a conspiracy that involves either Ferrari or
McLaren. I truly do understand Ferrari’s position. This issue and what may unfold in the future
will only confirm that these are actions of parties that may have worked for our company and other
companies, with the specific intention not known to either of our companies. We are in a fiercely
competitive world. I understand exactly where Ferrari is coming from and the beliefs or suspicions
they have. Yet I hope that everyone here, including Ferrari, can understand that we are not
involved in this – nor is Ferrari. We have problems with our employee, as do they, and as may
others in the near future. There will undoubtedly people clamming up, and we may never learn the
truth. I do not believe that there is any data on computers that will let us know any more than these
do today.
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Paris, 26 July 2007 79
Both companies have stated that they are carrying out investigations on the matter and interrogating
of their systems. Could they both undertake to provide to this Council anything they may learn that
is of interest to the sport?
I kindly ask you then, to withdraw for a few minutes, after which we will give you our conclusion.
Council Decision and Conclusion
It is the unanimous view of the World Council that Vodafone McLaren Mercedes were in
possession of Ferrari secrets or Ferrari information, by virtue of Mr Coughlan’s possession thereof,
irrespective of certain other elements. We therefore find Vodafone McLaren Mercedes in breach of
Article 151c. However, the evidence of any use of this material in a manner calculated to interfere
with the Formula 1 World Championship is insufficient for us to impose any penalty. Should, in
the future, evidence emerge showing that the Formula 1 World Championship was prejudiced in
any way by the possession of this information by Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, either in 2007 or
2008 or any years subsequent to that, we reserve the right to invite the team back in front of the
World Council, where they would be faced with the possibility of exclusion, not only from the 2007
World Championship, but also from the 2008 World Championship.
We will invite Mr Stepney and Mr Coughlan to show reasons why they should not be in effect
banned from international motor sport for a lengthy period. The World Council has delegated
authority to deal with that matter to the Legal Department of the FIA.
We will issue this precisely in those terms.
I very much appreciate exactly what you said. I understand what you said and why you said it. The
reputation of McLaren has been badly damaged over the last 24 days. I would ask the World
Council and yourselves to avoid, in the subsequent press conference the word “guilty”. I
understand that there may be a desire to use that word, but I would appeal to the World Council for
it not to be used. Whilst I recognise what you have said, I still strongly feel that McLaren’s
integrity as a whole unit or as myself, does not need to be further blamed for the action of one
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 80
employee. I would ask for moderate or accurate positioning in subsequent communication to the
media; I think it is in the interest of the sport and in the interest of fair play.
I only ask this. I do not need a response. I am appealing to the fact that I understand what has been
said, but I also believe that nobody or very few people in this room feel that we are guilty of
anything other than having a rogue employee. I simply want to put this matter behind our company
and fight for the world championship. It is very important for Formula 1 and for us. I want to
contain my emotions.
It is very difficult for you to see this from any other point of view, obviously. Imagine that you
have a tip-off from a shop in Italy. On that basis, court officials raid someone’s house and nearly
800 papers of McLaren information are found in Ferrari’s possession. The world would say what it
would. Imagine that exactly this hearing took place and the same conclusion reached. The reaction
from the press and the outside world be that, once again, the FIA has been overly lenient with
Ferrari – it is “Ferrari International Aid”.
I do not suggest for one minute that the findings of this World Council are based on that premise. I
only ask for the world “guilt” to be left out of your press release. I am comfortable with “found
against” or something similar. Otherwise, all of the newspapers will head their articles that way:
“McLaren Guilty”. I do not think that would be fair.
I appreciate what you are saying and we will discuss it within the Council.
Of course, we respect the decision, but I think we should respect it from the first to the last world.
It is completely irrelevant to come and try to change the decision of the World Council
I am not asking for the decision to be changed.
I can understand what both of you are saying. We will look at it, but I am not making any
Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council Meeting F?d?ration Internationale de l’Automobile
Paris, 26 July 2007 81
I understand.
Thank you very much. I hope that we were not too confused or incoherent as a tribunal. If I may
so, Mr Mill, you did an outstanding job of keeping to the relevant issues and keeping your excellent
client under control.

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