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Page last updated at 20:12 GMT, Wednesday, 29 September 2010 21:12 UK

Ex-Ferrari engineer Stepney sentenced over 'Spy-gate'

Nigel Stepney
Stepney pictured at the Turkish Grand Prix in 2005

Former Ferrari engineer Nigel Stepney, who was at the centre of the "Spy-gate" scandal in 2007, has been sentenced, according to the Italian team.

Stepney was sentenced to a year and eight months in prison and a £500 fine, though under Italy's legal system he is highly unlikely to serve time.

"Spy-gate" saw Stepney accused of passing Ferrari data to the McLaren team, who were fined £50m by the FIA.

He had also been accused of sabotaging Kimi Raikkonen's car at the Monaco GP.

The British engineer did not plead guilty but had entered a plea bargain, accepting his punishment.

"We're satisfied, even if my client has always denied sabotage," his lawyer Sonia Bartolini told the Gazzetta di Modena website, after a hearing in Sassuolo near Ferrari's Maranello base.

"We have to thank the prosecutor for agreeing to a plea bargain. Initially the sentence was much higher," Bartolini added.

As well as being fined £50m, McLaren were stripped of all their constructors' points for the 2007 season by the FIA for their involvement.

Stepney, the former head of development at Ferrari, is believed to have passed a 780-page technical document to former McLaren chief designer Mike Coughlan in the scandal.

Stepney has not worked in F1 since being sacked by Ferrari over the scandal.

He is currently team manager of the Sumo Racing sportscar team, which runs Nissan GT-Rs in the FIA GT1 championship.

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see also
Stepney goes before prosecutors
07 Feb 08 |  Formula 1
Stepney avoids Formula One charge
08 Mar 08 |  Formula 1
Stepney blames McLaren's conduct
21 Jan 08 |  Formula 1
Stepney hits back against Ferrari
16 Jul 07 |  Formula 1

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