FEBRUARY 23, 2009
The end of Stepneygate
Italian justice is a curious thing that can drag on for years on end and it is thus intereresting to see that McLaren and the investigators in Modena appear to have reached an agreement to bring an end to Stepneygate, with a number of fines for McLaren personnel. The team is expected to pay them all, except that of Mike Coughlan, which he is expected to have to pay himself. There were three fines each of $200,000 for Rob Taylor, Paddy Lowe and Jonathan Neale. The team is expected to pay these and although there is no official word on this matter, it seems that the decision was taken to end the affair at whatever cost, rather than letting it drag on for years. There is, of course, an implication of guilt in accepting such a settlement, but McLaren's view has long been that it exists to go racing and that to lose focus on that would be a mistake.
The affair will remain a divisive chapter in F1's history but it seems that everyone has now decided that it is time to move on.