Todt slams Stepney as spy saga sizzles again
(GMM) Mere hours after Nigel Stepney threatened to sensationally re-open the espionage affair, Ferrari boss Jean Todt says the sacked employee "lost his head".
Michael Schumacher's former chief mechanic Stepney is accused of triggering the spying affair with deliberate acts of espionage and sabotage, but - as the saga calmed down in the wake of McLaren's $100m fine and championship exclusion - he revealed this week that Ron Dennis' team may not be the only guilty party.
Stepney told the formula one website grandprix.com that the transfer of information between Ferrari and McLaren had not been one way, and that he received from Mike Coughlan details about McLaren's pit strategies, test programmes, fuel levels, weight distribution, and various other aspects of the MP4-22.
After the revelation, Ferrari boss Jean Todt described the Briton as a "difficult character" whose unhappiness increased when he did not receive the promotion he wanted following the departure of Ross Brawn.
"I was never expecting the guy to lose his head," Todt said in an interview with The Times.
"He lost his head, that's all. Unfortunately, sometimes you have people who lose the sense of things and it's a shame because we all have some personal responsibilities.
"You should have some limits, some discipline, and he did not know how to place limits on himself and the problem is that there is a high price to pay."
Todt insists, however, that Ferrari has no reason to fear Stepney's accusations, despite news recently that the Briton's planned autobiography was quickly pulled from publication without explanation.
Todt said: "I have read so many times 'wait until you know all what Ferrari has been doing', but I'm quite (happy with) my conscience over the past 15 years and, believe me, if Ferrari had been (doing anything wrong), after all these controversies, it would have come out."