Force India/Lotus Espionage Scandal Looms in F1

Click to enlarge [Andy Stevenson (GBR) Force India F1 Team Manager and Mike Gascoyne (GBR) Force India F1 Chief Technical Officer, back in 2008]Max Mosley may not be the president of the FIA anymore, but that doesn’t mean the scandals in Formula One will cease with immediate effect. After the spy-gate back in 2007 and the crash-gate earlier this year, another espionage drama is on the verge of making the headlines worldwide.

The scandal concerns Force India and its former employee Mike Gascoyne. According to a report shown by Switzerland’s Motorsport Aktuell – a magazine with a great deal of insight into F1 racing – it seems that the latest wind tunnel model presented by newly entrants Lotus F1 Team in October is a copy of Force India’s challenger for 2010.
After being sacked by Force India at the end of last year, Gascoyne looked for another commitment that would bring him back to Formula One. Cosnequently, he landed a job as technical manager for Lotus F1 Team, as the Malaysian outfit were granted the 13th entry in the 2010 championship by the FIA.

During his stay at Force India, however, the Silverstone based outfit was working with Italian company Aerolab for the building of their wind tunnel models. In the meantime, the Indian outfit’s debts towards Aerolab have grown consistently and caused Vijay Mallya’s team to cease all operations at the Fondtech facility in the UK. However, when that happened, they seem to have left one of their wind tunnel models behind.

Curiously enough, Aerolab is exactly the company Gascoyne chose to work with for his Lotus F1 project. Just as interesting is the fact that, from all the newly entrants, Lotus F1 Team have been the quickest in releasing the first pictures of the wind tunnel model for the 2010 season. And it happened less than a couple of months following the FIA’s official welcome of the team to the 2010 F1 season. None of the new teams have yet managed to do that, even if they were initially announced by the FIA for the 2010 season a lot sooner than Lotus F1.

Commenting on the matter, Gascoyne admitted there is some truth to the rumors, only he’s not part of the equation to begin with. “If at all, that is a legal problem between Fondtech and Force India,” said Gascoyne, according to the aforementioned source.

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~ by abuaina on November 5, 2009.

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