Though Ferrari’s settlement in the British court case they brought against suspended McLaren chief engineer Mike Coughlan dictated that he and his wife provide an affidavit to the Italian team detailing how Coughlan came to possess confidential Ferrari documents, details of the affidavit appeared in the press within days of the affidavit being given to Ferrari.
But Ferrari’s managing director, Jean Todt, says Ferrari isn’t the source of the leaks.
Meantime, pursuing the theory that the best defense is a good offense, the managing director of McLaren, Ron Dennis, is being steadfastly furious about those leaks. McLaren must answer charges before the FIA, starting on July 26th, that it has unauthorized possession of confidential Ferrari documents. Moreover, the leaks from the Coughlan affidavit have quite clearly implicated McLaren’s Formula One team manager in the violations, suggesting that he had – at minimum – solid knowledge that Coughlan possessed the documents and had counseled Coughlan to destroy the evidence.
Todt said Ferrari made it clear that the three recipients of the affidavit were told in no uncertain terms that they would be committing a legal breach in the event of any of it being shared with third parties.” It was not clear, however, to whom he was referring, as it is obvious that others, including lawyers for both the Coughlans and Ferrari, would have been privy to the contents of the affidavit.
Moreover, though McLaren has suspended Coughlan from his role in the team, it has not fired him.
That creates an interesting implication: that it can’t afford to fire him, that it believes it’s better off retaining some control over him, so that it has some means of limiting the damage.
As Don Corleone said, “Keep your friends close. But keep your enemies closer.”

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