Monday, 17 September 2007

You wouldn't steal a handbag. Copying car designs is theft.

I'm no kleptomaniac but I'm confident that I could give McClaren a few pointers on how to steal better.

Ferrari yesterday dedicated their victory to 'an English gentleman in a print shop in Woking'. It turns out that the whole 'spygate' saga came to light because the wife of Mike Coughlan took a Ferrari technical dossier into a print shop in Woking and asked to have some pages copied. The owner thought that there was something suspicious about a dossier from Monza turning up in a small Surrey town where a rival team was based, and contacted Ferrari.

Now, McClaren pay their drivers millions per year, and they have just been fined £50m by the FIA. A colour photocopier would set them back less than £5000. Given the amount of money involved in R&D on a car, you would presume that the team (or the individual) would regard £5k to be able to do it in the office (or at home) to be very, very cheap.

One thing that I certainly wouldn't do is walk into my nearest print shop and openly ask to copy part of the document. Does this rank as one of the stupidest things anyone has ever done?

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