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McLaren launch in Stuttgart next week.

Discussion in 'F1' started by pastmaster, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. pastmaster

    pastmaster Formula Junior

    Feb 5, 2006
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    Alma, Michigan USA
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  3. TonyL

    TonyL F1 Rookie

    Sep 27, 2007
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    Is that the one with Ferrari ideas on it and a proposed freeze on their development. Take them off the car and you could then call it a Mclaren.

    Look forward to it with interest though, thanks for the link.

    Tony
     
  4. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    The fact that the new McLaren is being launched in Stuttgart (home of Mercedes) and not Woking lets me hope that managerial changes are in the works as a consequence of the image loss in 07.

    Can't wait to see RD leave.
     
  5. ingegnere

    ingegnere F1 Rookie
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    Sep 12, 2004
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    This is after McLaren announced that they wouldn't have a launch to save money.

    Also read that Bernie will be there! Looks like part of Mercedes' efforts (by probably footing the bill for the launch at their facility) to try to re-establish some credibility to the team that re-defined cheating in F1.
     
  6. Senna3xWC

    Senna3xWC F1 Rookie

    Nov 30, 2006
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    I think if you did a little bit of research into cheating in f1, you would understand how ridiculous that comment is. Re-defined cheating? What did they do that Toyota didn't other than get penalized?

    Ron Dennis never led a team of McLaren engineers into breaking into a rival's garage in order to inspect their cars as Harvey Postlethwaite admittedly did during his Ferrari days.
     
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  8. kraftwerk

    kraftwerk Two Time F1 World Champ

    May 12, 2007
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    I have read somewhere there is talk about him being upstaged/overruled as regards the launch.

    His day's are probably numbered, although I don't quite dispise him, he now seems to have run out of luck, but I'd much rather see Max go.

    On another note a report According to a Finnish tabloid, Martin Budkowski apparently somewhat competent aerodynamics engineer at Ferrari, jumped to McLaren.

    Now then, wonder how much he can carry on a small mini SD card loads of info on such a small card..:eek:
    Have Mc halted development in that area,..oh well Max you now have a reason to look.
     
  9. ingegnere

    ingegnere F1 Rookie
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    Sorry, must have dreamt about $100M fine, all points stripped and apology letter admitting proprietary Ferrari design info incorporated in the '08 car.

    Why look at a rival's car when you have access to a live imbedded search engine.
     
  10. pastmaster

    pastmaster Formula Junior

    Feb 5, 2006
    875
    Alma, Michigan USA
    Glad to see Mercedes-Benz, involved in the presentation of the 2008 F1 Car. Also the event will occur at their great Museum, which will be a treat for all. :)

    Maybe it will make an embarassing situation for McLaren-Mercedes, less somber and more fun, for all that are involved, including the teams other major sponsors. With the large fine and embarassment of past events, it will be more like a wake, instead of a funeral. Time to bury the dead and continue on with life, for all involved.

    Ciao...Paolo
     
  11. TonyL

    TonyL F1 Rookie

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    There have been many instances of industrial espionage but back in the 70s & 80's nobody had ever heard of the expression "intellectual property rights". If you were stumped by another car's performance, you did what you could to uncover the secrets, and for the most part people accepted it as part of the game.

    Frank Williams was incensed when he heard about Peter Collins (Austria 1979) measuring the FW09 until one of his own team pointed out that every team, including Williams, was doing something similar.

    Today things are more sophisticated. All of the engine designers tape other cars speeding past them at full revs on the main straight because by doing so and by knowing the relevant frequency (doppler effect), and what revs their own engine achieves at maximum speed, they can work out how high their opposition is revving and thus their likely power outputs.

    All technical directors and chief designers religiously patrol the grid before the start of a race, mingling with the crowd so that they can glean the slightest advantage.

    Crudely measuring a car for clues does not give the designer the insight into how it works, crucial in undertanding the technical principles. eg Chapman with his ground effect car. Everybody could see the skirt but didn't know the critical areas. They used bluff to divert the attention away from the real performance advantage.

    So yes, everybody in F1 cheated at some time, but to be in possession of the WHOLE document in how Ferrari build their F1 challenger is another matter
     
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  13. Senna3xWC

    Senna3xWC F1 Rookie

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    No one said that McLaren wasn't guilty but let's put things in perspective, shall we? They aren't any more guilty than virtually every other team on the grid, including Ferrari.
     
  14. SrfCity

    SrfCity F1 Veteran

    Nov 1, 2003
    9,842
    Orange County, CA
    Maybe Merc is just trying to save a bit of money launching at their facility. Looking like they're taking charge a little more is certainly a possibililty.
     
  15. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    If cost savings were the reason for the location, it should be Woking as that is where the car is buing built and where the majority of the folks live. Launching in Stuttgart causes actually more than doing it at home in the UK.

    No, this is a clear political message of who is in charge here. And I like it.
     
  16. TonyL

    TonyL F1 Rookie

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    Rumour has it that the 2008 McL has gone back to the paint shop for a respray. They were following the Ferrari manual so closely that they forgot themselves and sprayed the car red!!!!
     
  17. ferraridude615

    ferraridude615 F1 Veteran

    May 4, 2006
    5,534
    Texas
    :D I also heard that they accidentally painted #1 and #2 on the car instead of 22 and 23.
     
  18. Remy Zero

    Remy Zero Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 26, 2005
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    i thought they were launching the car on the 8th?
     
  19. dinogts

    dinogts Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    You must not have read the transcript of the hearing and the full decision (or you have forgotten), otherwise you would know that McLaren were in fact "more guilty than . . . every other team on the grid." Possession of the stolen Ferrari dossier, hundreds of emails between McLaren personnel and Stepney, phone calls, text messages, etc., etc., and specific answers to questions as to what the Ferrari weight distribution was, and when the Ferraris were going to pit during specific races -- nah, that's nothing of any importance according to your analysis.

    To refresh your memory, here's a partial excerpt from the September 2007 hearing:

    Nigel TOZZI: The graph seeks to show, in pictorial and colour format, detail from the SMS messages, from Mr Stepney to Mr Coughlan, and the replies from Mr Coughlan to Mr Stepney, as well as the telephone calls. We know that, from 11 March to 3 July, 288 text messages were exchanged, and 35 telephone calls took place. The graph shows that the contact increased in: the period leading up to the Australian Grand Prix; during private tests carried out by Ferrari in Malaysia, leading up to and during the Malaysian Grand Prix; leading up to and during the Bahrain Grand Prix; and leading up to and during the Spanish Grand Prix.
    This is not the whole picture. These simply reflect the details that the Italian police have obtained, by looking at two of Stepney's phones. One covers only the period 21 March to 3 July, hence ten days are missing in this graph; the other covers only 11 March to 14 April. Anything on the latter phone is not reflected in this graph. This is still only a part of the overall picture, then. Regrettably, we do not have the texts of the SMS messages, despite our very best efforts to do so. As far as I am aware, the police does not either.
    What conclusion can we draw from this? Mr Mill, speaking before you on 26 July, stated that: "inferences are always open to be drawn in appropriate circumstances". This is such a circumstance. The obvious inference was that Stepney was feeding confidential information about Ferrari and the Ferrari car to Coughlan. It demonstrates that the story that Coughlan told, of only limited contact with Stepney, was completely untrue.
    What was the content of that contact? Unfortunately, it is unknown and we must draw inferences. However, we are assisted by a document not before you at the previous occasion: an e-mail that Coughlan has disclosed in a further affidavit, in the English proceedings. That document is found in Exhibit 57 of our bundle.
    Max MOSLEY: Would it be possible for you to read it?
    Nigel TOZZI: This is an e-mail dated 14 March, from Stepney to Coughlan. The subject is "drag".
    "Mike, apart from the rear wing, I don't think this is the whole story. Once the front floor compresses, when it makes contact with the ground, which is around the 200km per hour to full compression,, the drag reduces quite considerably, due to reduction of air beneath the car. At the same time, the turning vanes also move. The front floor is about 100 cm long, so it is quite an effective device, also as mentioned in my previous e-mail, as a mass damper, because it helps in this mode to control the arrow and keep the front tyre contact patch. Other areas we look at are rear stall, but this is difficult to control. Another solution has been found, which I'll talk to you some other time. Regards, Nigel."
    What does that e-mail tell you that you did not know before? It is quite clearly part of a sequence of information exchange. He refers to an earlier e-mail in which he has passed information. He refers, at the end, to the intention to tell him further details about another solution, presumably another solution that Ferrari has found. Secondly, it plainly has nothing to do with so-called whistleblowing.
    The utterly discredited argument that McLaren ran before you on the last occasion to justify the admitted use of Ferrari confidential information, in order to make a complaint to the FIA. This demonstrates, quite clearly, that the flow of information from Stepney to Coughlan was a revelation of Ferrari's confidential secrets. In that this is part of a flow, one going on at the dates we saw, you can and should draw your own conclusions as to why Stepney should be funnelling this information to Coughlan, and whether it is realistic that he should have kept that information to himself.
    As to the information being used, I have already mentioned whistleblowing, though I suggest that it was no such thing and, rather, part of a stream of information. In any case, one does not whistle- blow to the employer's major competitor. If any whistle-blowing was to be done, Mr Stepney should have been sending details to the FIA. So far as we are aware, he did not provide the sort of detailed information to the FIA which he chose to give Coughlan and, thereby, McLaren.
    Secondly - and this brings us to the major piece of evidence that has come to light since the last hearing - the e-mails disclosed by Pedro de la Rosa and Fernando Alonso show that, contrary to what you were told on the last occasion, the information which Coughlan was receiving from Stepney was being shared within McLaren. McLaren has tried very hard to suggest that the information being disclosed was limited to only the two drivers, that there was no wider dissemination within McLaren, and that we have jumped to a series of inappropriate, unfounded conclusions.
    We ask you to use your common sense, stand back, look at what the e-mails actually say and compare them with what the McLaren witnesses try to say to explain them. Ask yourselves, "Does that ring true?" We suggest that, when you ask yourselves those questions, you will come to the only conclusion that you can: that you are being fed a line that is not the complete story.
    Moreover, this puts into context what you were told on the last occasion about, for instance: the installation of the firewall, Coughlan's extraordinary trip to Barcelona to tell someone to stop contacting him, and the incredible account of the meeting between Coughlan and Neale, when Coughlan tried to give him a document and Neale, quite deliberately, turned a blind eye.
    The further documents that have come to light are found in the FIA dossiers at Tab 5. First, could you turn to Page 61? This shows a very short e-mail dated 21 March, from Pedro de la Rosa to Mike Coughlan: "Hi Mike, do you know the red car's weight distribution? It would be important for us to know so that we could try it in the simulator."
    Why does de la Rosa ask Coughlan? We would suggest that it is because he knows that Coughlan has a link into Ferrari via Stepney. Why does he want that information? You see what he has said in his statement. But look at what he explains in his e-mail: "So that we can try it in the simulator". This is not curious interest, as he attempts to portray it in his witness statements. He wants it in order to copy it in the simulator, in his own words.
    I ask now that you turn to the next e-mail in the sequence. On page 52 of the English proceedings. It is an e-mail dated 25 March 2007, sent at 01:43. De la Rosa reports to Alonso on results which he has following the experiment in the simulator. In the versions we have, there has been a certain amount of redaction, or blocking-out of text. Consequently, one must work out what is actually said.
    Item 1 is about a variable brake balance system. This is important because, as you know - and we have drawn this to your attention on several occasions - one of the aspects that interested Coughlan in particular was the Ferrari brake balance system, an innovative and unique design. In his own, discredited affidavit, Coughlan admitted asking Stepney about it on no less than four occasions. We know also that he came back with a sketch, which he showed Taylor. Here, we see an exchange of e-mails demonstrating that McLaren is very interested in the design of a similar system.
    For those of you who are entitled to view the e-mail with all of the words left in, I invited you do so. Regardless, in the e-mail, Mr de la Rosa is saying that, "with the information that we have, we believe Ferrari has a similar system: they have three positions which they change from the cockpit." He also describes, saying: they have "A". (In our version, the text has been blanked out, but in de la Rosa's version, he tells you what they are.)
    He says, "that was phrase which I did not understand, something that Coughlan had told me three days earlier, which I had memorised." Please think about whether this sounds very credible. He says, "They have this system which delays the rear-braking initially then proceeds to increase it gradually." This is not an e-mail from a man who has not understood what he has been told. "We get the same results [...]." In other words, he clearly does understand what he has been told.
    On Item 2, the flexible rear wing he says, "this is also a copy of the system we think Ferrari uses. It is another two- to three-tenths of a second quicker". Then Item 5: "information from Ferrari, their weight distribution in Australia was '...'", giving very precise details.
    Max MOSLEY: Not to interrupt, but in the next paragraph of the e-mail, he states that, "it will take them a few weeks or a month or two to have it". That would suggest that, perhaps, the intention is to make the same device.
    Nigel TOZZI: Exactly. I agree with you.
    Then there is reference to very detailed information, which De la Rosa admits having received from Coughlan: the car's aerobalance, and the use of an alternative to air to inflate the tyres. Here, he comments, "We use nitrogen; we'll have to try it, it's easy!" They are clearly using that information with a view toward copying it.
    Alonso's reply in relation to the brake balance is: "I hope you can try this out. I don't know whether it is ready". He is keen for it to be tried it. The next passage that has been blanked out, allegedly on grounds of confidentiality. However, because we saw this before it was blanked out, we know what it said, cannot erase it from our memories, and we have referred to it in our submissions. I do not accept that this is in any way confidential. If you do see it, you will see what I say that.
    On Item 2, the rear wing, he says, "Let's hope this only takes one month", indicating that he wants this process to speed up. On Item 5, he comments in terms about the weight distribution and what this draws attention to. "It is very important to test the [blank], since in the race, they have something different from the rest." You can read this for yourselves."
    De la Rosa comes back, saying: "all of the information from Ferrari is very reliable. It comes from Nigel Stepney, their former chief mechanic. I don't know what post he holds now. He is the same person who told us in Australia that Kimi was stopping in Lap 18. He is very friendly with Mike Coughlan, our chief designer, and he told him that." He refers to something being ready for testing on Tuesday, then says, "I agree 100%, we must test the [blank] very soon."
    You are being told that this was being passed only between the drivers and that none of this information was shared with any of the engineers. Alonso is saying that "we must test this!". Yet you are asking to believe that because de la Rosa subsequently had a conversation with someone from Bridgestone who said that this does not always work, that the entire idea was dropped. Does this sound credible? We say it does not.
    Going back to the e-mail and the information about Kimi stopping in Lap 18, there is a lame attempt to suggest that this is not reliable, because he actually stopped in Lap 19. As you will all know, the difference between Laps 18 and 19 may arise simply because you have enough petrol to eke into the next lap. The key point is that Coughlan was being fed information about Ferrari's race plans, which he passed on to the drivers. Did the drivers keep that information to themselves? Do you really think they would? Use your common sense. Use your knowledge of the sport. We say you should draw some obvious conclusions.
    Let me take you forward in the bundle, to page 62. This very interesting sequence of e-mails starts with de la Rosa pressing Coughlan for details of the Ferrari braking system: "Can you explain me as much you can Ferrari's braking system? What are they doing?" Coughlan initially says, "it may be difficult for you to understand". Yet De la Rosa presses him for the information, saying, "Fernando wants to know".
    Eventually, Coughlan gives him a very detailed description of our braking system. He must have and can only have gotten that from Stepney. You are being told by de la Rosa that, because he did not understand it, he did not share that information with anyone.
    Again, use your common sense: does his sound very credible? Here is Coughlan, disseminating information. Bear in mind that Coughlan had said, in his affidavits, that apart from the whistle- blowing, he had no other contact with Stepney and that he had not shared this information with anyone from McLaren. You now see a very different picture emerging.
    Why does this picture emerge? Because the drivers blew the whistle, making for a very interesting story in itself. When Alonso raised the existence of documentation on 5 August with Mr Dennis, obviously in the context of some dispute, he mentioned the matter to your President, but did he try to get to the bottom of it?
    Did he say, "If you have documents, I must have them, because I am under duty to the FIA to take them back to the World Motor Sport Council." No, he did not. We received this information only because the FIA wrote to the drivers, telling them that they were under duty to disclose. It was not been volunteered by McLaren. That tells you a great deal about the internal investigations carried out by McLaren and their enthusiasm to volunteer information. We therefore say: look at the facts; don't listen to the assertions. The facts are that this is information that FIA secured from the drivers. It did not result from an internal investigation by McLaren.
    How does this fit in with the rest of the facts? According to Coughlan, we know that he spoke to Stepney on four occasions about the brake balance and was given a drawing, which he showed to Taylor. Mr Taylor seeks to suggest that this was nothing to him. An engineer of Mr Taylor's experience would instantly have known that he was being shown provided a significant improvement in functionality. We have included evidence from Professor Genter explaining this to you in some detail. In McLaren's submission (the lengthy document), more is told about what was happening in the McLaren camp. I ask that you turn to page 6 of their submissions, at Paragraph
    15. It starts on page 5; I will pick up the story on page 6. "McLaren's novel system" - purportedly their own - is described in the following terms: "From mid-February 2007, based on an idea of Mr Lowe, McLaren developed a novel and completely different system for achieving variation of the relative braking mode on the front and rear axels."
    They say that McLaren's system was tested on 22 and 29 March, and introduced at the Spanish Grand Prix on 13 May. It was inspected and approved by Mr Whiting, who is then quoted: "In the first Grand Prix, McLaren observed that Ferrari was using lever, which it believed was likely to be part of a quick-shift system."
    Immediately after the Grand Prix, Mr Lowe instructed a team of vehicle dynamics specialists to study footage - in effect, ordering a spying exercise to see hat Ferrari has. He says that, "Coughlan was not involved this study. The team confirmed that this appeared to be part of a quick-shift system."
    Then, it is said that, "since some engineering resource had become free, Lowe asked Coughlan to release an engineer to him to produce 2007 version. Coughlan released Chris Lewis to this task. Lewis quickly designed such a system." They add that the evidence of Lowe and Lewis shows that this was designed entirely independently, based on McLaren's 2001-2002 design.
    If you turn to the statement of Mr Lewis, which we received yesterday, it says that: "In early April 2007" - the dates are important, bearing in mind the e-mails we have just seen - "Mike [Coughlan] asked me to begin work to design a quick-shift brake balance adjustment system, not a particularly difficult task, as McLaren had used a quick-shift system before, in 2001 and 2002. My work mainly involved taking the knowledge that we already had about quick-shift systems and optimising it for use on the 2007 McLaren car".
    He exhibits a document that we have not seen. He then confirms what Mr Lowe has said to you in a document we have not seen is correct. In particular, he states that, "For the purposes of the quick-shift project, I reported to Mike directly, without the involvement of my team leader, while Mike supervised the project. His involvement was no more than the general supervision and direction he gives to all drawing projects.
    For example, Mike outlined the idea that I import that 2001-2002 design into the 2007 car. I looked at that previous design and brought it into a CAD scheme, with changes necessary for it to fit the 2007 car. Mike and I and Pat Frye reviewer this scheme and agreed the final details. I completed the detailed design and component drawings, which Mike approved for manufacturing."
    Here is someone reporting directly to Mike Coughlan, working on a brake-balance system. At the same time, you have hard evidence that Coughlan is pestering Stepney for details of the Ferrari system and exchanging that information with at least De la Rosa at exactly that time. Yet you are being asked to accept that he did not contribute any ideas that he might have obtained from Ferrari to the development of the McLaren system. The McLaren system may be different; of course it is, for it was designed by different people.
    We submit that the idea that Coughlan did not use any of the information he had obtained illegitimately from Ferrari to contribute to the development of that design is so fanciful that you should not accept it. More to the point, the people who will come along and testify the "he did not give us any confidential information" probably don't know.
    If Coughlan simply says, "have you tried this?" or "have you thought about that?", they are not to know that he has that idea because it has been purloined by Stepney from Ferrari. They see it as Coughlan contributing to the discussion. And we suggest that the fact that he is sitting on the information and pressing Stepney for details is the clearest indication of use, or perhaps only attempted use of Ferrari's documentation and information. It is certainly enough for you to conclude, gentlemen, that something has to be done.
    Of further interest is Mr Taylor, with whom Mr Coughlan also seeks to discuss this on the first working day following his trip to Barcelona. He goes to him with the drawing, asking what he thinks about it. This is part of that bigger picture that we suggest you consider. We say that there is something odd about the fact that, in Australia, the Ferrari cars were so much better than the McLaren cars. Yet, as you all know, McLaren has caught up. Gentlemen, if you wish to ask about technical details, we have witnesses present. Mr Braun, in particular, will be able to deal with any technical inquiries you may have.
    Might I also remind you of something that Mr Neale said in a relatively recent press interview? It touches upon the issue of use, what can be relied upon, etc. In the 11-12 August issue of the Financial Times Magazine, Mr Neale stated, referring to the McLaren car: "There isn't much on the car that stays the same; maybe the seatbelts don't change. From the moment the car is formed in January to the last race in October, we make an engineering change on average every twenty minutes. We started behind Ferrari, but what determines how the season progresses is how quickly you can change the car."

    Yup, McLaren didn't cheat more than anyone else on the grid, did they?
     
  20. dinogts

    dinogts Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    I want RD to stick around for a while longer.

    I would like to see RD squirm a lot more, engage in more "Ronspeak," and get caught with his pants down again and again.

    I want to see RD be embarrassed and shamed.

    I want to see RD drag Mercedes into the pigsty with him.

    I want to see how Matt Bishop, the recently "retired" Editor in Chief of F1 Racing Magazine, covers up McLaren's skullduggery in Bishop's new position at McLaren as "Group Head of Communications and Public Relations." I guess Matt Bishop's new job explains why the last several issues of F1 Racing have been so defensive of McLaren's misadventures and why F1 Racing has endeavored to trivialize the McLaren/Stepney saga. Matt Bishop's new job at McLaren had obviously been under discussion for many months before he announced that he was leaving F1 Racing for McLaren, so it is pretty clear to me that his writing, and that of many of the F1 Racing staff, was under the influence of McLaren for the last several months -- not necessarily that McLaren directly controlled F1 Racing Magazine, but rather, what poor SOB editor in his right mind would dare risk offending his new (future) boss by fearlessly reporting about McLaren's deep lies and misstatements?

    No, I for one want RD to be the pimple on McLaren/Mercedes' ass for all of 2008.
     

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