A Bloomberg report has revealed that Mercedes-Benz AG is suing one of its now former engineers, who plans to join Ferrari following the 2015 season, for allegedly taking confidential documents and data with him on the way out.
The suit, filed Oct. 19 and released on Monday, reveals Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains – the powertrain division for Mercedes AMG Petronas – is suing Benjamin Hoyle for looking to find saved files, engine data and other code following this year’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
Hoyle’s contract with Mercedes was due to end at the end of 2015. Once Mercedes learned of Hoyle’s plans to leave, he was reportedly reassigned to projects outside of F1.
Legal action is underway, Mercedes told Bloomberg in a statement.
While this could become a major case yet is only in its opening moments, it would not be the first reported case of theft in F1 history.
The “Spygate” scandal in 2007 – which involved Ferrari and McLaren at the time – ultimately saw McLaren lose all that year’s points scored in the Constructor’s Championship and be fined a record $100 million.