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http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns19067.html

The long-running case against former Ferrari engineers Mauro Iacconi and Angelo Santini, who were accused of stealing Ferrari secrets and giving them to Toyota, has concluded at the Tribunale di Modena with Santini condemned to nine months in prison for industrial espionage and Iacconi facing 16 months in jail for receiving the information from Santini and passing it on to Toyota. Both sentences were suspended but both men say they will appeal the decision.

The case relates back nearly five years to the start of the 2003 season, when there were suggestions that Toyota was running a copy of the Ferrari design. Santini, who worked at Ferrari from 1995 until the start of 2002, had moved to Toyota, which was planning to use a second windtunnel called Aerolab, located at Bologna Sant'Agata, just up the road from Ferrari. This employed a number of former Ferrari engineers. The construction of the new windtunnel began around the same time and was completed by January 2005. It is now being used by Spyker after Toyota built a second tunnel at its Cologne headquarters.

Ferrari suspected that aerodynamic information had been stolen from Maranello and had ended up in the hands of Toyota engineers and so filed an official complaint. Police investigations led to police raids in both Italy and Germany in 2004 and charges were then made in 2005. The case went to court a year ago.

It is possible that German investigators will pursue others who may have been involved. The Cologne public prosecution service has charged former team principal Ove Andersson, chief designer Gustav Brunner and the team's head of aerodynamics Rene Hilhorst but they have not yet been indicted as the Germans decided to wait until the Italian court cases were over.

The appeal process will slow that down still further.

All of this will be watched closely by Red Bull and Spyker as the two quibble over drawings which Spyker obtained from Red Bull Racing.

 

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Weapon of Mass Affection
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Just to play devil's advocate; Ferrari himself was a corporate spy in his early days -BUT- back then it was more of a tradition between a select few groups and their individual "clicks".

Much like making fun of a coworker at an office party and then attacking the new guy when he tries to join in for being inappropriate; Toyota just tried to steal from someone who they are obviously not on good terms with.

Good for the FIA; the cooperation to do something without dragging their feet and going back on their word for once.
FIA still hasn't fined anyone for the Cyprus incident.
 

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Hmm, didn't help Toyota then, and it's not helping them now.
There's a fine line when it comes to "corporate espionage". For instance, you hire X person from Ferrari that was an aerodynamic expert and he learned his trade working for Ferrari. Now he gets hired by Toyota. Is this person now supposed to relearn everything? Does Ferrari classify everything this person knows as "company secrets"? What should or shouldn't be a "corporate secret"? What if Toyota doesn't realize some of what their new employee is giving is considered to be a "corporate secret"? Etc. Etc.

Too many unknowns. Sounds like Toyota was somehow caught red-handed but any aerodynamic secrets they got didn't help them much since their engines have been towards the top as far as making HP but they have not yet been successful in F1.
 

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That is nothing new. Teams have been accused of espionage since racing started. If Toyota was a real viable threat in F1 it would be bigger news, but they are not. All the other teams way more development time then Toyota. Throwing money at the situation doesn't make it better.

I remember someone also saying that Toyota was going to be sucessful in NASCAR in their first year like they were with the trucks. Their top points driver is 36th in the standings? :lol: Michael Waltrip, Toyotas headspokes person is dead last in the standings and failed to qualify almost all the races this year.
 

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Give them time, they have only run a handfull of races and unlike all the other teams had to develop 2 cars (the Car of Tomorrow and the original car), teams and engines from scratch. They are doing well in the Busch series in their first year. They have 2 drivers in the top 5 in points, Blaney and Reutimann:

http://www.nascar.com/races/bg/2007/data/standings_official.html

I remember someone also saying that Toyota was going to be sucessful in NASCAR in their first year like they were with the trucks. Their top points driver is 36th in the standings? :lol: Michael Waltrip, Toyotas headspokes person is dead last in the standings and failed to qualify almost all the races this year.
 

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Never narc'd on nobody
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I remember someone also saying that Toyota was going to be sucessful in NASCAR in their first year like they were with the trucks. Their top points driver is 36th in the standings? :lol: Michael Waltrip, Toyotas headspokes person is dead last in the standings and failed to qualify almost all the races this year.
Waltrip just sucks....that's pretty much the problem
 

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Couldn't be that bad. He won Daytona a couple of years ago. DEI ruled the restrictor plate races then. Not so much now.
 

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When you hire away other engineers, it's impossible to keep out secrets much less the way of doing things. There's constant flux from one organization to another of nearly every industry.

Still there's always brand new things to explore. When you make changes to one thing (for example the front splitter) you basically start nearly from scratch because the airflow changes behind it.

I talked with a former Jaguar F1 Racing engineer at great length in terms of testing, numerical, vorticity dynamics (it's everything in unsteady lift analysis and you cannot numerically diffuse the solution too much in an effort just to get a solution), etc. Basically the secret is one's experience and skill because one is constantly redoing a lot of things. All this means many secrets cannot be taken piecemeal "bolted on" and expected to work because of inherent differences otherwise. Due to continually changing regulations, secrets also tend to have a short shelf life and the playing ground is more or less leveled (reset) unless we're comparing funds. Now minor tricks/techniques here and there are a different story.
 

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Forgot to mention that Toyota is dominating so much in the truck series (they have won every race this year) that they are trying to restrict the power their engines are making:

http://www.speedtv.com/articles/nascar/craftsman/36532/

Funny thing is that they aren't restricting the Chevy's in the Nextel Cup even though they have won every race this year.....
 

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Oh I am sure they will eventually. That's the one thing I can't stand about NASCAR. They impose new rules at will. Fucking BS.
 

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Never narc'd on nobody
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Couldn't be that bad. He won Daytona a couple of years ago. DEI ruled the restrictor plate races then. Not so much now.
Oh I wasn't using it as an excuse for Toyota....I just think Waltrip sucks and wanted to say it.

He won Daytona and that's about it. He runs his mouth on TV a lot, so some people tend to think he's good....but he really ain't. He has, what like 4 career Cup victories total? And none in the last couple years?
 

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True story!

A good friend of mine that used to race CAN-AM and F5000 new a body maker (composites) here in the states that used to work for Ferrari in Modena making ferrari race bodies.

He started making copies of the original aluminum bodies for re-creation for some kit cars.

One night two men burned his entire shop down. He found out it was two "Italian Men" with temporary visa's and passports.

All in all, he believes Ferrari paid some guys to fly to the US and burn all of his work (copied). This was before lawsuits or things like Corporate espionage was invented (1970's). The evidence was there. But no charges were pressed since the guys were foreign and really did not speak any english. They were just deported back to Italy.
 

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So how serious is this to Toyota? What could happen?
 

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Forgot to mention that Toyota is dominating so much in the truck series (they have won every race this year) that they are trying to restrict the power their engines are making:

http://www.speedtv.com/articles/nascar/craftsman/36532/

Funny thing is that they aren't restricting the Chevy's in the Nextel Cup even though they have won every race this year.....
I think so as well.

The politics behind all this is very non-objective. I also believe in Cup something political behind the scenes is screwing over TRD. That's the story among manufacturers.

Now among drivers, today there's a news clip about Tony Stewart ripping NASCAR for frivolous conduct and trying to "play God" with regards to manipulation.

Overall I believe NASCAR does bring good entertainment value by bunching up cars to the finish more or less as opposed to other sanctioning bodies where finishes may be separated by 5-50 seconds or more. But surely I don't see them at the pure fairness level despite their mantra.
 

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Beats and Rhythm
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The oval track will always be a better "stage show" than road racing. You can see about 100% of the track at all times. Though its the media's fault and also partly due to horrible management of the past defunct road racing series that has had road racing on a downslide.

For one, the ONE Daytona 500 price purse issued out to the drivers and teams could pay twice over the entire Champ Car/IRL does in a whole year of racing!

The reason Trans-Am racing died was that the price purse was getting less and less because greedy SCCA officials wanted to keep their part of the intrance and insurance money. They would charge $3000 to enter the race, and then you tax on food, living, race car expenses and ever race is over the $20,000 mark. They would pay out $1000-3000 for FIRST PLACE.

Nascar gives out money to the team that finishes LAST! Nascar pays the team if the Qualify!

Point is, if you dont have money, your going nowhere. These days in age, its INCREDIBLY hard to find a good sponsor willing to part with hundreds of thousands of dollars (tax shelter really, advertisement). Most of the guys that bring the cash are rich kid drivers. All your favorite drives mostly came from well-off families. Very few had families got into and stayed with racing before the big "advertisement" campaignes of the 60's on.


Anywho, I dont think anything will happen to Toyota as a company. We all know Italians are very "loud" people when it comes to money or business. Very prideful and will do anything (or alot of things) to keep what they have theirs.

I dont blame Ferrari for tracking the guys down, but more than a year in jail and fines that could be in the six digits is just retarded. Its called RACING. People cheat off each other for the edge. I guess every formula one team should sue each other for each others cars looking remarkably similar.

-Jonathan
 
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