Mercedes have launched legal action against an engineer at its High Performance Powertrains subsidiary, after alleging that he was going to take sensitive technical data to Ferrari.
According to Bloomberg, the team allege that Benjamin Hoyle who is due to switch to Ferrari for 2016, was planning to join Ferrari for next year and attempted to take confidential data to the team before his exit, including race reports from the 2015 Hungarian Grand Prix and “milage and damage data relating to Mercedes F1 engines.”
Hoyle came to the team in 2012 having previously worked with Cosworth on their 2010/11 V8 engines. After finding success in the current regulations package as one of the team leaders, he notified the team midway through last year that he would be leaving as soon as his contract expires at the end of this year.
The team are ordering Hoyle to return the documents and making him pay for the legal costs. They also want to apply for a ruling that prevents Hoyle from working at the team until at least the end of 2016, in what would be termed as a “gardening leave” amongst F1 folk.
The case will take place in High Court, with the team saying that it has taken the necessary legal action against Hoyle in a statement to the business website.