Four fined over McLaren 'spy' drama

The former chief designer for motor racing team McLaren and three of its current senior employees have been fined more than £500,000 between them in the final chapter of Formula One's "spy saga".

Charges against designer Mike Coughlan and engineers Paddy Lowe, Jonathan Neale and Rob Taylor of the Woking-based team have now been dropped on a 'nolo contendere' (no contest) basis.

But part of deal means the four are required not to contest charges of copyright infringement relating to Ferrari's data. The penalty for this sees Coughlan forced to fork out 180,000 euros (£158,000), while the engineers each have to pay 150,000 euros (£131,500).

Coughlan was the man at the centre of the controversy that led to McLaren being fined around £50 million in 2007 by the sport's governing body, the FIA.

A McLaren spokesman said: "The proceedings in Italy were merely the officialising of what had been proposed long before, namely the 'nolo contendere' agreement. A line has finally been drawn under this matter."

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