Mercedes-AMG F1 Sues Engineer for Data Theft

Mercedes AMG Petronas 1 photo
Photo: Daimler AG
Mercedes AMG High-Performance Powertrains, the engine provider for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team, has filed a lawsuit against Benjamin Hoyle, one of its former engineers, for stealing some very important and confidential data before his move to Ferrari after his contract expires this month.
Hoyle managed to save a race report from the Hungary 2015 Grand Prix, which included damage data related to engines and files containing code required to decrypt raw race data files. Whoever benefitted from this top secret information would have gained an illegal advantage.

This is yet another huge scandal in Formula 1, one of the world’s most secretive sports, where even tiny unseen gizmos can help you make or break a championship. Currently, only four manufacturers, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Renault and Ferrari, are supplying engines for the entire Formula 1 grid.

Benjamin Hoyle joined Mercedes-AMG F1 in 2012 as one of the four team leaders in the performance department. Last year, he told Mercedes he would resign when his contract expires at the end of 2015. That was the moment when the German carmaker realized Hoyle would join Ferrari and reassigned him to duties that were unrelated with F1.

Despite this, the engineer continued to look at race reports and stole confidential data. Afterwards, he tried to delete the files in an attempt to hide his actions, according to Bloomberg.

Mercedes-AMG is now seeking to get back all the important documents and wants to block Hoyle from joining Ferrari or any other Formula 1 team until after the 2016 season.

Lately, there was a lot of action around Formula 1, starting with the new partnership between TAG Heuer and Red Bull Racing. Right after this move, Nissan/Infiniti terminated its contract with the Austrian-sponsored Formula 1 team, one year earlier than it was originally stipulated.

The second Red Bull-sponsored team, Scuderia Torro Rosso, has switched back to Ferrari engines after two years of running with Renault power units. The logical question now is what is going to happen next? Our guess is that a tough “war” is on the verge of starting between Bernie Ecclestone and the engine manufacturers over power unit regulation changes.
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