JUNE 14, 2011
Coughlan apologises after 'life-changing' Spygate
Mike Coughlan, who has begun his role as the new Williams chief engineer, says that the 2007 Ferrari/McLaren 'Spygate' saga "was life-changing."
Coughlan, who returns to F1 after a four-year absence, added: "it made me reflect upon myself and my actions. Leaving a team and a sport that I love, and then seeing the consequences of my actions on the team and its fans was devastating. All I can do now is work hard and try to earn my place back in Formula One. This is what I am determined to do with Williams."
To those who feel that taking confidential Ferrari technical information was unforgivable, Coughlan says: "I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to everyone who was affected by my conduct and in particular the people at McLaren and Ferrari and the fans of those teams. I sincerely regret my actions and I fully accepted the penalty given to me by the FIA. I can only hope that I can earn back everyone's respect."
Since '07 Coughlan has helped develop the Ocelot light protected patrol vehicle, designed to protect British forces in transit. He then came back into racing with Michael Waltrip Racing in NASCAR, which he enjoyed, but found it but tough to work on one side of the Atlantic with his family living on the other.
"I am aiming to integrate myself back into F1 and prove myself," Coughlan states. "I think we (at Williams) all have one goal - to win races. I think I can say that even though I have only just finished my first day here! I'm hoping to help bring an upturn in the team's results and put it back to where it deserves to be."