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Spying and sabotage rocks British GP
(GMM) Speculation went into overdrive on Wednesday as the Ferrari-McLaren spy scandal continued to rock the formula one world.

Just days ahead of the British grand prix, where Lewis Hamilton was expected to make a glorious debut home race with his Woking based team, the barrage of rumours and official statements issued by both teams and even the FIA has cast a dark cloud over the sport.

The leaking of sensitive information from the sacked Nigel Stepney to McLaren's suspended chief designer Mike Coughlan was believed to have been the centrepiece of the saga, but there is more to it than espionage, the Daily Mail wrote in an expose today.

Ferrari veteran Stepney is also though to have tried to "spike" Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen's fuel tanks with detergent before they were sent to race at Monaco.

Previously, the 'sabotage' material was thought to have been white powder that was seized by Italian police on a raid of the Briton's house near Maranello.

Stepney is expected to return to Italy from a holiday in the Philippines on Thursday, while his lawyer Sonia Bartolini said: "It seems to me that Ferrari have at the end of the day got their way. They wanted to get rid of Nigel and that's what they have done.

"Nigel's reputation has been severely damaged by all this. He denies any sabotage. He and I both believe that this is all part of a campaign instigated by Ferrari to get rid of him."

Amid the confusion and how it might affect the outcome of the 2007 championship battle between Ferrari and McLaren, bookmaker William Hill said it was nervous that court battles might ultimately crown the official world champion.

"Any inquiries or investigations which go on beyond the final day of the season will not be taken into account for betting purposes, but any punishments or points deductions which might be levied before the final day of the campaign will count for betting purposes," said spokesman Graham Sharpe.
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