Mercedes have accused Ferrari-bound F1 engineer for data theft
Mercedes have been confirmed of filing a lawsuit against their former F1 engineer for allegedly stealing confidential documents and information as he prepared switching to Ferrari.
Mercedes AMG HPP(High Performance Powertrains) is a division of the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team responsible for building 1.6-litre turbo hybrid V6 power units based at Brixworth, UK.The High Court legal action is being taken by HPP against Benjamin Hoyle who is reportedly destined to make move to the Maranello squad after seeing out his contract at the end of December with Mercedes.
He is being sued for stealing sensitive data that included a race report of the 2015 Hungarian Grand Prix, mileage and damage related information on the various F1 engines used during the course of the 2015 season up until 14th September.The accusation extends to stealing coded files for decrypting raw race data containing confidential details about engine performance. This could sound a bit odd for our readers as one might wonder what does a race report data would do to change the complexion of a leading outfit.
It does quite an awful lot actually as Formula One’s big-four teams Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes and Red Bull spend 100s of millions to run two cars each season. Formula One has been dominated by Mercedes ever since the introduction of hybrid engines last year as the German outfit invested millions in the development of power units. Every tenth of a second a team gain on track would require spending hefty sum. Those trailing at the bottom would have less expenditure and human resources to develop cars through the season and thus they lose out and play backmarker role like Marussia.
For such teams, earning the constructors’ prize money for respective finishing positions would be sufficient as they rely on sponsors’ pocket and global craze of the sport for further expansion. But the big-spenders at the top would lose ground if they can’t learn, understand and optimise within the stringent sporting regulations and advent loopholes.
Therefore, Mercedes with distinct power unit advantage and supply Force India, Williams and Lotus with engines alongside running own works team fear their competitive edge will be lost with this spygate. Mercedes claims this alleged unlawful conduct has been in breach of Hoyle’s work contract and that he shouldn’t be serving any F1 team until after the end of next term.
Ferrari took to the media to express their discontent for the case today as they cited not having a formal contract in place with Benjamin Hoyle and declared he wouldn’t be joining them “in the foreseeable future”.