Mercedes sue Ferrari-bound engineer over spying allegations

Mercedes have filed a lawsuit against a senior engineer, who is alleged to have stolen confidential design secrets in a bid to help his new employer – Ferrari.

Court papers released on Monday reveal that Benjamin Hoyle was due to leave to constructors’ champions at the end of 2015, but is believed to have stockpiled data to show to his new colleagues at the Scuderia, who are looking to close the gap on the Silver Arrows.

The German team claim have accused Hoyle and Ferrari of gaining an “unlawful advantage”, and want to block his move to Marinello until after the 2016 campaign.

Team members work on the Mercedes Formula One car of Lewis Hamilton of Britain in pit lane at the Marina Bay street circuit ahead of the first practice session of the Singapore F1 Grand Prix September 18, 2015. REUTERS/Edgar Su

In a statement, Mercedes said: “Legal action is underway involving Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains Ltd. and an employee.

The company has taken the appropriate legal steps to protect its intellectual property.” The allegations have echoes of the Spygate case almost a decade ago, which saw Ferrari engineer Nigel Stepney passed information to McLaren, which led to the Woking outfit receiving the biggest fine in the sport’s history, as well being disqualified from the constructors’ championship in 2007.

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