Mercedes sue Ferrari-bound engineer over F1 data

Tue Dec 8, 2015 2:18pm EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - The Mercedes Formula One team is taking legal action against an engineer alleged to have downloaded sensitive performance data before he was due to join rivals Ferrari.

"A legal action is underway involving Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) Limited and an employee who is due to leave the company at the end of the year," said a team spokesman on Tuesday.

"The company has taken the appropriate legal steps to protect its intellectual property."

The BBC identified the employee as Benjamin Hoyle. HPP design, build and supply the team's power units.

Mercedes have been dominant in Formula One since the introduction last year of the new V6 turbo hybrid power units that replaced the old V8 engines.

Britain's Lewis Hamilton, now a triple champion, has won the last two drivers' titles while Mercedes this year retained the constructors' crown they won in 2014.

Ferrari have been their closest rivals, winning three grands prix and closing the performance gap noticeably this year after failing to win a race in 2014. They aim to be much more competitive in 2016.

Mercedes this year supplied engines to Williams, Force India and Lotus, although the latter team are due to become Renault-powered next year with tail-enders Manor Marussia set to switch from Ferrari to Mercedes.   Continued...

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