Debate: Stepney scandal good for F1?

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2007Ferrari-McLaren scandal, Stepney-gate, the Ferrari espionage affair – call it what you will, everyone’s talking about it.

Lewis Hamilton may be big news in the back pages of newspapers but the increasingly strange details of industrial espionage between F1’s two top teams is commanding column inches in the front pages.

Every top sport from football to NASCAR knows the importance of controversy for staying in the limelight. So might this scandal actually raise F1’s profile?

Don’t get me wrong – the allegations being made are very serious and if anyone has stolen information from one team and passed it on to another they deserve to be punished.

But “every cloud has a silver lining” and I actually think this could have positive benefits for F1.

Not only does it keep the sport in the public eye but it highlights just how cut-throat competitive it is.

So is Stepney-gate a good thing?

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20 comments on Debate: Stepney scandal good for F1?

  1. The old adage is that any publicity is good publicity. As this may affect the precious Lewis then it is getting more than it’s fair share of attention in the British media.

    Depending on the outcome, it may soon be forgotten by the masses – unless it dents Lewis Hamilton’s title hopes in any way, in which case it will never be laid to rest!

  2. TocaPro said on 23rd July 2007, 19:44

    Make you right Craig,

    If this was football, the FIA would have to go into hiding in fear of their lives if they take points from Lewis, thankfully it’s not.

    Ugly things happen in all sport, i would imagine that FIA would be right cheesed off with this one landing on their plate, i cant see any decision made will satisfy everyone, i hope Ron’s got a big enough hanky

  3. Zig said on 29th July 2007, 9:28

    Scandals are a necessary yet unfortunate evil in all walks of life.

    It seems however, no scandal is big enough to shake F1 in it’s Bridgestone-shod boots.

    I think if we knew everything about what goes on behind closed doors, we’d probably be shocked, but ultimately get used to it.

    Espionage will never cease to exist in F1. There will always be some form of it, whether studying a front wing design through binoculars or doing it using other sophisticated ways.

    One team always wants to know what the other does, especially if that advantage translates to good results on track.

    Think about it. How does one team know that another is operating outside or on the border of the rules when it comes to say, elements of an aero package?

    By watching (spying) on them.

    Only difference is, they inform the FIA by launching a protest against the offending team and sparking an investigation, instead of taking the information and possibly gaining the same advantage.

    If Ferrari could gain something from this scandal in court as far as the 07 championship, they will.

    All is fair in love and war, and in F1 spying is part of it.
    Only the names and faces of the people involved change, and THIS year the spies were caught.

    What makes it a scandal for F1 is the extent of the information involved.

  4. bernie's nemesis said on 3rd August 2007, 13:00

    I don’t think anything is happening here that hasn’t happened probably every year in F1, just Ferrari have more weight to throw about.

    As the only engine and chassis manufacturer, with so much history, there can be no doubt that Ferrari have had the ball fall their side of the line a few times. Ecclestone and Mosely have been seen too many times to not be impartial.

    Espionage in formula one is like drug taking in cycling. It’s endemic.
    And I suspect that scandals like this (along with race fixing) are only going to have a similar responce as the continual tour de France sagas.

    The point drawn up by Clive (letter 7) is the most worrying.
    I believe that this stuff happens regularly, but on a different scale. So if the two colluded, surely a top designer has better resources and more intelligence than to take hundreds of pages of classified material to the local pronta-print?

    If Ferrari were trying to kill two birds with one stone- rid themselves of disaffected employee without paying compensation for breach of contract, and blame somebody else for the reason they are not winning?
    Well pretty low, but this is the country of serie A scandal and the ridiculous punishments that followed.

  5. Really? It’s terrible for F1 image, it shows thigs that are soooo anti-sportive. Also the punishment going ONLY to the team was another big clown party, the pilots new! They should have been punished too.
    Declassified forever! Expelled from the sport as an example. Really, I been very very ungry about this. This kind of thing should be strongly punished. Set example FIA.

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