Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Ferrari targets Stepney

If things weren’t bad enough on track. News comes from Modena that the Scuderia “Dream Police” have taken legal action against Ferrari (Soon to be Ex?) Technical Coordinator
Nigel Stepney.

It all seems to stem around the restructuring of Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro upon Messer Schumacher’s retirement. As the long dominant Formula 1 team seems to be in a bit of disarray upon the departure of several key members. With Rory Byrne effectively retiring, Ross Brawn on sabbatical and Paulo Martin Elli having moved to FIAT. This leaves Jean Todt feeling a bit lonely these days at the helm of the Ferrari monstrosity.

And this reshuffling included seeing Nigel Stepney being assigned a new non-racing role at Ferrari after being an integral part of the Schumacher Dynasty. As you may recall that Stepney received a broken foot while being Michael Schumacher’s refueler during the glory years. But after Schuey’s departure, Stepney has been assigned tasks at the factory.

Although Ferrari is unwilling to divulge the exact discrepancies Stepney has made. Maranello spokesman claims the action is in regards to the Englishman’s behaviour. While in Italy
Scuttlebutt accuses him of attempting to sabotage the red cars just days prior to Monaco. Which seems highly unlikely.

Stepney has made no secret of his desires to remain trackside and has been shopping himself around to various F1 competitors while still under the employ of the Prancing Horse. Rumours suggest Stepney was keen to take some of the remaining staff with him to Honda.

Stepney’s retorts to Ferrari’s allegations seem to suggest a bit of a “Witch Hunt.” Claiming that Ferrari knows exactly where he is. Upon booking his pre-arranged Asian holiday thru the Ferrari travel office. This comes after Ferrari claimed Stepney was not contactable.

In a recent interview with the UK’s Sunday Times. Stepney said
Ferrari is up to a game of dirty tricks. It’s all in the hands of his lawyer, so let’s wait and see.

Hmm? Wind tunnel fan belt breakages, Flexi-Floor accusations and throwing a key staff member “Under the Bus.” Could this be the root cause of the Scuderia’s recent downturn in performance?

Is this any way to treat the man responsible for giving Steve Matchett his chance as a Formula 1 mechanic?