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Ferrari / Toyota F1 espionage

Discussion in 'F1' started by VPC, Nov 1, 2003.

  1. VPC

    VPC Formula Junior

    Jun 9, 2002
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    Victor
    http://uk.sports.yahoo.com/031101/65/ecrtv.html

    Saturday November 1, 05:09 PM
    Espionage, police search and an arrest
    It started as a joke. Many people said that the Toyota TF103 looked so much like the Ferrari F2002 (and F2003-GA) that it was nicknamed the 'Ferrari with a Toyota engine'. Now the situation is getting more serious.



    A few hours ago, Gazzetta dello Sport confirmed that German police searched the residence of an Italian engineer who is actually working for Toyota and is a former (less than 2 years ago) Ferrari employee.



    Following this initial search, the police went to Cologne and searched the aerodynamics department of Toyota Racing for a few hours. Computers, CD's, hard disks and a few projects were seized. According to Gazzetta dello Sport, German justice is only focusing on the Italian engineer and not directly towards Toyota (at least for now).



    Police also questioned co-workers of the engineer to get more information about the activities of the man. The engineer in question was later arrested by police.



    The legal procedure made by the German court was initiated following a request from an Italian prosecutor in Modena, who lodged a complaint for Industrial espionage.



    We should have more details in the next few days...
     
  2. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Oct 3, 2002
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    Whoa! Very interesting to say the least.

    Probably hard to proof, but might put a dent into Toyota's efforts. I do like Toyota however, they build the whole car (chassis and engine). Hope it all turns out as unsubstantiated.
     
  3. Doody

    Doody F1 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2001
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    wow - pretty neat stuff!

    and as they say, the plot thickens.

    please keep us posted!

    doody!
     
  4. beast

    beast F1 Veteran

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    Just take a look at how Toyota showed up at Silverstone this year with a F2003GA style cooling system. I am sure the windtunnel time and modeling required to get it right took more than a couple of months to sort out.

    Rob Guess "The Other Rob"
     
  5. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob Formula Junior

    Apr 17, 2003
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    Bob Hagendijk
    I hope Toyota can stay after this...
    Otherwise another team will leave the select group. And the field is already so small
     
  6. beast

    beast F1 Veteran

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    DR Bob;

    The Engineer that worked at Ferrari was more than likely under the blanket of a "Anti Disclosure Contract" So even thought he was working for a rival team He could not disclose any concept that Ferrari had in development with out ferrari's permission. I am sure this is what started the pot boiling. All it would take is Ross Brawn to say "hey he worked on that cooling system when he was here.." and that would be enough to put 2+2 together.

    I doubt the Toyota will have any fall back other than being told to halt any designs that were relesed to them by that engineer.
     
  7. MarkCollins

    MarkCollins F1 Rookie
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    Jul 2, 2002
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    Well they've been copying Ferrari and other road cars for years so it now seems to have crossed over to the racing team
     
  8. wax

    wax Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Jul 20, 2003
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    Dirty Harry
    Clichés/
    If he had the recipe for success and the proof is in the pudding, then actions speak louder than words.
    /Clichés
     
  9. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

    Nov 20, 2002
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    Yes but it is pretty hard for you NOT to take ideas from one company to another ... it happens all the time. Newey left Williams and took his ideas to McLaren.

    Who is to say that this engineer did not design say the cooling system in the Ferrari ... thus it was his idea NOT Ferraris. You cannot expect an engineer to wipe his brain and ignore his learnings in the past and start from a blank page everytime ... that would slow progress and be stupid!

    BUT if he simply copied OTHER peoples ideas that is different.

    I've been an engineer in the past (not at this level) and a design is all about the engineers involved thinkings and ideas ... they are actually very person and can cause very heated debate. You cannot and should not stiffle that!

    If Ferrari is behind this and it is simply a case of an engineer moving and taking HIS ideas then I am very pissed with Ferrari. After all why did Ferrari loose this employee?

    Lets create an environment for free thinking and advance the sport!. Don't fnck it up with lawyers and red tape!

    Man I wish the business would fnck off from F1 so we could continue with the radical engineering and racing.

    Pete
     
  10. Ontogenetik

    Ontogenetik Karting

    Nov 2, 2003
    149

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    >Man I wish the business would fnck off from F1 so we could continue
    >with the radical engineering and racing.

    F1 is (big) business. Entertainment is (big) business.
    Progress is inevitable ... anticipating the (very attractive) auto pilots,
    the reciprocal of data logging if you will.
     
  11. beast

    beast F1 Veteran

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    Maybe i am wrong on this one, perhaps Jim Avery or Art Chambers can chime in with more information.

    But i have been under a binding Anti Disclosure Contract with a motorcycle Mfg for almost 18 years now. The way i am to understand it is since the Engineer in question worked for Ferrari and that Ferrari was paying that persons salary. The work that the engineer performed for ferrari becomes property of Ferrari. Aerodynamics are one item that would be hard to cover since once a photo is taken of the car those items become to a certain extent no longer a trade secret and any aerodynamicist would be able to copy the concept and test it out for that team. The cooling system is another thing altogether the formulas and models to get it correct could have been in progress at ferrari for 3-4 years before they felt that they had it right. The variables are just endless when it comes to something like this for example air flow thru the radiator, Thermal expansion of the air after it absorbs the heat, the air flow over the body in that area to create the proper suction needed to remove the heat. Just one slight angle being off could cause the side pod to not vent and burn up a motor.

    Even though Sauber Also used this style of cooling at the last few races remember that Sauber gets their motors from Ferrari and it is rumored that Sauber will be running the 2003GA so Ferrari more than likely gave them the data to run since they were of no danger to Ferrari's championship hopes.

    Rob Guess "The Other Rob"
     
  12. West777

    West777 Formula Junior

    Aug 28, 2003
    311

    exactly. While working with Ferrari, this engineer obviously learned a lot of new information. Is he expected to just forget it all when he leaves the company?

    It is a touchy situation. Im trying to decide for myself how i feel about it, and I just keep flip flopping from one opinion to the other.

    I would like to know the terms on which the engineer left Ferrari. Was he fired? Contract expire? If he left Ferrari on really bad terms, that would make it VERY interesting.
     
  13. RicersRule

    RicersRule Rookie
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  14. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

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    This will die quietly and is another case of the Italian legal system having an orgasim.

    Quite how that country functions is beyond my comprehension :)

    They have found nothing and he has returned to work ...

    Pete
     
  15. aventino

    aventino Formula Junior

    Jun 16, 2003
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    David L
    Ferrari wouldn't be Ferrari if Italy wasn't Italy. Try marrying one.

    PS Pete did you see the article on the TZ2 Alfa in Classic and Sportscar?

    James
     
  16. Mitch Alsup

    Mitch Alsup F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
    6,333
    I also work for companies with employment agreements. In particular, the agreement I had with Motorola could be interpreted as if:

    "If we teach you to read, you have to forget how when you leave"

    However, a lot of this stuff will not stand up in court--even if it is the document, and even if you sign it.

    However, in F1 as in war, secrets are fleating ANYWAY. And it does not look like Toyota got that much of an advantage from whatever it did happen to get. Toyotas big advantage over teh other second tier teams is cashflow not espianage.
     
  17. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

    Nov 20, 2002
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    Yes. Did not read it fully but did not notice that they are a really rare car ... did not realise that.

    Much more agressive looking car than the TZ1 (er, original TZ).

    Pete
     

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