Mercedes is to sue a former engineer after accusing him of copying confidential files before he moved to Mercedes’ closest rival, Ferrari.
Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains employee Benjamin Hoyle informed Mercedes in May that he was handing in his notice to take up a position with Ferrari’s engine department in December.
Mercedes HPP believe Hoyle searched for and copied confidential files from the Hungarian Grand Prix, which according to Bloomberg, contained engine mileage and damage data, including files containing decrypting codes.
The company reportedly has evidence proving Hoyle continued to access confidential files after notice of his resigation as well as attempts to cover his tracks.
The lawsuit only names Hoyle and doesn’t accuse Ferrari of any wrongdoing, though the team are adamant it could give the Italian outfit an unfair and ‘unlawful advantage’.
The team are therefore seeking to block his move to Ferrari and any other F1 team until after the 2016 season at the earliest.
“Legal action is underway involving Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains Ltd. and an employee. The company has taken the appropriate legal steps to protect its intellectual property,” Mercedes confirmed in a statement.
“Mr Hoyle’s actions were calculated to destroy or seriously damage the relationship of trust. Mr Hoyle and potentially Ferrari have gained an unlawful advantage.”