Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Formula One-derful

a new reason to love Formula 1:


Yes, the shocking truth was discovered this week: a top technical engineer at Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro was caught sharing his employer's top secret technical information with the Chief Designer at rival team Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.

Apparently, Ferrari guy (Nigel Stepney) was disgruntled with his overlords after they denied him a very serious promotion last year (filling in for Technical Director Ross Brawn, currently on sabbatical). Stepney was largely responsible for the team's past success so I understand why he's pissed, but it's really not cool to send company secrets to the guy who builds the other guy's car.

And you wanna know how Ferrari discovered this leak? They were investigating him for:


Get this -- "the discovery of a mysterious white powder in the fuel tanks of both Ferrari cars just before the Monaco GP prompted an internal enquiry that resulted in Stepney's sacking." Maybe that's just the boys snorting a few lines off the fenders before the race, but it's true that the previously undefeated Ferrari started to tank at Monaco and kept falling behind in the points due to engine problems.

F1 is not just about driving skill. It's largely based on technology, research and team strategy. If evidence shows that McLaren (currently # 1 in the standings) benefitted from intellectual property stolen from Ferrari (#2 by a wide margin), it's entirely possible that the outcome of the 2007 season could be determined in a court of law instead of on a racetrack. I personally doubt this will happen -- that would be very bad for the sport -- but sometimes things get a little crazy when the lawyers show up.

McLaren is very wisely sticking to the Sgt. Shultz Defense: "We know NUSSING! Nussing at all!"

They also claim that although they had access to Ferrari's secrets since late April, they "did not use it on the McLaren cars and did not share it with any engineering teams". Yes, and I have several naughty magazines under my bed that "I don't look at".

An investigation is unfolding now and you can read about the scandal on if you're interested (it's ok, I know you aren't) but consider this, sports fans: what if the winner of the Super Bowl or the Masters were determined by a court of law? Could that happen?

I'll close with this photo because it's another reason why I love Formula 1:


Even astronauts don't look this fucking cool.


Snooze said...

Whoa. That adds a whole new exciting level to the sport. I love the drama!

pistols at dawn said...

Why is Destro, GI JOE's sworn enemy, suddenly all about Formula One? That makes it even more un-American to like.

I don't think any of our sports would be determined in a court of law, because our justice system is far too slow, but the 1919 World Series was rather famously thrown by the White Sox. All that really happened there is that we gave them a derisive, childish nickname ("The Black Sox"). Ooo, chilling!

T said...

In all kinds of racing (foot, car, motorcycle, etc.) there are always teams trying to get an edge over the competition. Doping, illegal above-ground heights, slippery paints, polished chrome helmets, -all of these things can lead to an unfair advantage. However, when one (inside) person tries to destroy/harm his own team, it becomes more soap opera and James Bond-like than sport. It's a shame. They should just kill the offender (or put him on a bus in Canada).

On another note: How does Renault (who had crappy cars over here in the States) succeed in Formula-1?

Leonesse said...

And yes, could you move a few of those mags outta your closet, please, it is a little crowded in there. I would hate to mess up your cataloging. Is it by size, shape, or color?

The Guv'ner said...

It's kind of like an albino Darth Vader and Hannibal Lecter had a baby...

Leonesse said...

BTW, will this guy ever work in racing again? What will they end up doing to him?