Poor old Nigel Stepney. Little did he realise that when Ferrari turned him down for the Technical Director’s job, he would eventually become the scapegoat for all that is wrong in the World.

Not only does he have Ferrari pointing the finger accusingly at him for allegedly pouring sherbet dib-dab in the fuel tanks of their race cars, but he is also being accused by his former employers of industrial espionage. If rumours are to be believed, Nige accidentally forwarded Jean Todt’s copy of ‘How to win friends and influence people’ to a certain Mr. R. Dennis in the vicinity of Woking. But of course you know Ron has never actually seen it (and on that score we believe him, no really we do).

Quick to jump on the F1 blame bandwagon, McLaren’s Mo-Ron publicly outted our Nige. The McLaren CEO naming Nige as the whistleblower who informed McLaren of Ferrari’s Moving Floor Device, which later led to McLaren snitching to the FIA in the aftermath of the Australian Grand Prix.

rons-new-pen-pal.jpgThis was despite the fact Mo-Ron tried to convince his new pen pal Luigi Macaluso that it would never do to reveal the name of whistleblowers in F1, otherwise they wouldn’t do it again. We are glad to see that Mo-Ron is a man of his word…such a fine upstanding moral citizen, if ever there was one. Whistleblowers everywhere are now reportedly queuing up in their droves outside McLaren HQ.

Of course Nige has been quick to deny his involvement in yet another misdemeanour, claiming that he didn’t email McLaren about movable floors or any other such device. Nige claiming that is was abundantly clear to the watching world that there were irregularities with the floor on the F2007, and therefore no need for whistle-blowing (maybe just a tad of trumpeting instead).

We can only admire Mr Stepney’s fantastic 20/20 vision. The only time we spotted the floor moving was as it went around the track stuck to the rest of the F2007 bodywork…. Perhaps we should have gone to Specsavers.

Here at FFN we are wondering from what direction the next accusation is going to come flying at poor old Nige. Perhaps BMW-Sauber will be next in queue to point the finger, claiming Nige encouraged the growth of Nick Heidfeld’s criminal beard, which is having serious detrimental aerodynamic effects on their car.

Or perhaps Honda will be blaming their faulty wind tunnel on our Nige, even if he wasn’t in the vicinity at the time (too busy exchanging loving glances with Mike Coughlan in Barcelona) and they actually haven’t got an employee who knows the first darned thing about aerodynamics.

On top of the accusations and mud slinging that’s going on, poor old Nige is apparently being spied on by his former employers at Ferrari. It seems every time he gets into a vehicle to go anywhere he is mysteriously tailed by another vehicle. Leading us to wonder if we are all under the eye of big brother, as everywhere I go in a vehicle I seem to get tailed as well. There was me naively thinking it was called motorway traffic…how little we really know.

But we should not worry, as Nige is remaining calm (so he tells us) and has already found himself a job outside of F1. We can only assume from the fact Nige is appearing in a starring role on a daily basis in some form or another in the Motorsports Media, that he is in fact a prolific gossip columnist for Autosport. It would certainly account for the scurrilous rumour emerging in some quarters that the whole spying/sabotaging/mud-slinging/letter-writing debacle is in fact a cunning PR ruse to keep Nige (I mean F1) in the headlines.

In other news, yesterday it seems McLaren decided to withdraw Double World Champion Fernando Alonso from the FIA driver’s press conference. The natural assumption everyone made was that this was in fact to protect Nando from the inevitable questions that would arise on the whole sordid spy affair, allowing the Double World Champion to concentrate on the job in hand (namely trying not to get beaten yet again by his rookie team-mate).

However, a source close to FFN today has revealed that Nando was pulled from the Press Conference for a slightly different reason. Apparently to protect McLaren from whatever incriminating garbage might spew forth from the opinionated Spaniards lips. With Mo-Ron doing a fine job on his own of sticking the nails in the McLaren coffin, it was felt they didn’t need Alonso’s well meant assistance on this occasion.

felipe-still-smarting.jpgMeanwhile little Ferrari poppet Felipe Massa is still smarting about the polite exchange of opinions he enjoyed with the Double World Champion on route to the winner’s podium at the Nurburgring. The diminutive Brazilian admits he is at a loss to understand Nando’s reaction, considering they enjoyed a ‘normal’ racing incident during the race.

“The battle on the track is intense,” said Massa ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix. “At the Nurburgring I was in front but had some problems on the car, so I still tried to maintain my position in the correct way.

“That is what sport should be. We had words afterwards, but for me that was sport, that is what people like to see and I was fighting for my position in a normal way.

“It does not mean that if you touch someone that you are going to push them off the track. That was never my intention. We touched in what was a racing incident which happens very often in F1, which is why I don’t understand why is reaction was so severe.” the poor poppet lamented.

Perhaps Nando is like an Elephant that never forgets, and he is adding this to the incident where Ferrari claimed he impeded your qualifying at Monza last year dear Felipe.

In any case we can only offer this pearl of wisdom, a few swear words from Nando is infinitely more enjoyable, than having to trawl through the coma inducing lengthy written rantings of a rather retentive Formula 1 boss, wouldn’t you agree Mr Macaluso?

Before we all end up on life support machines, we can only hope this weekend’s Grand Prix in Hungary brings us more on track action and less handbags at dawn. Forza.

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