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Stepney to leave Ferrari?

THE word from Maranello is that the team's coordinator Nigel Stepney has decided that he is leaving Maranello to return to Britain after eight years in Italy. Stepney has been involved in motorsport since his teenage years and has been in F1 since he was 21, starting at with the Shadow team in 1978. He spent a long time at Lotus, leaving in 1988 to work at Benetton. In 1992 he joined forces with Nelson Piquet to run the Piquet Racing Formula 3000 team but was then asked by John Barnard to move to Italy to try to improve the quality of preparation at Maranello. Stepney is widely credited with having been responsible for the extraordinary Ferrari reliability in recent years.

Our sources suggest that Stepney now wants to move up the F1 ladder into more of a management role and his name is being linked strongly to a job with Jaguar, although it has been suggested that he might also have offers from Prost Grand Prix and British American Racing.

Stepney is unlikely to be able to start working for another team until the start of next year and it may be that he will leave Ferrari and spend a few months on an enforced holiday. It may be that next year Stepney will find himself running the Jaguar for Ross Brawn as the Ferrari technical director is rumored to be jumping ship from Ferrari as well later in the year.

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