McLaren-Mercedes said on Wednesday they had suspended a high-ranking technical employee who had been accused by Ferrari of spying on the Italian constructor.
“McLaren became aware on the 3rd July 2007 that a senior member of its technical organisation was the subject of a Ferrari investigation regarding the receipt of technical information,” said a statement on the team's website on Tuesday.
“The team has learnt that this individual had personally received a package of technical information from a Ferrari employee at the end of April.”
“Whilst McLaren has no involvement in the matter and condemns such actions. It will fully co-operate with any investigation. The individual has in the meanwhile been suspended by the company pending a full and proper investigation of the matter.”
Ferrari confirmed on Tuesday that it has sacked a member of its technical staff, Nigel Stepney, who it accused of attempting to sabotage its cars.
Ferrari also said they have presented a case against Stepney and a McLaren engineer to the court in Modena, concerning the theft of technical information.
At April end a judge in Modena found two ex-Ferrari employees guilty of industrial espionage.
Mauro Iacconi and Angelo Santini passed on information to Japanese outfit Toyota, although they fired the pair before the matter became public.
FIA to investigate
Woking, England: Motor sport’s governing body, Federation Internationale De’ L’Automobile (FIA) is to investigate the alleged sabotage of a Ferrari car by an employee of rivals McLaren Mercedes.
In a brief statement on Wednesday, FIA said that it had the full cooperation of both teams in its probe.