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TOV Forums > Professional Motorsports > > Re: Toyota F1 Team under investigation! Allegation: Stealing

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Honda Dream
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Toyota F1 Team under investigation! Allegation: Stealing    (Score: 1, Normal) 11-01-2003 10:10
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Here is the whole story:
http://www.sport1.de/coremedia/generator/www.sport1.de/Sportarten/Formel1/Berichte/Aktuell/f1_20razzia_20bei_20toyota_20mel.html

As the article says they are alleged to be using Ferrari ideas.

notyper
Profile for notyper
Re: Toyota F1 Team under investigation! Allegation: Stealing    (Score: 1, Normal) 11-01-2003 11:31
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Geez, they actually arrested a former Ferrari team member that now works for Toyota. Let him go after questioning, but that seems pretty serious (although I don't know much about European law). They also seized computers, etc.

While I might be one to laugh at the misfortune of Toyota given my dislike of their motorsports practices, I'm surprised to see something like this get so far. The dispute is over the copying of aerodynamics, which could be done just through visual observation of another car. Then again, this is Toyota... :)

SC

MAFA
Profile for MAFA
Re: Toyota F1 Team under investigation! Allegation: Stealing    (Score: 1, Normal) 11-01-2003 14:43
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What has Toyota done in the past that warrants your suspicions, SC?
midnight_racing
Profile for midnight_racing
Re: English translation???    (Score: 1, Normal) 11-01-2003 17:18
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Is there a link to an english version or could someone translate it please. I would like to read it in full detail.
Clarence
Profile for Clarence
Re: Toyota F1 Team under investigation! Allegation: Stealing    (Score: 1, Normal) 11-02-2003 08:59
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The story is on most F1 sites (in English).

The theory is that the engineer stole a CD containing the CAD models of the F2002. So Toyota designers could model their car on it, almost directly. This goes far beyond copying by looking at someone's car.

Toyota has a long history of cheating. A big example is in WRC, how the last Celica Rally Car used an illegal intake restrictor to boost power. They were banned from WRC for a number of years. There are articles about it online.

Neilap
Profile for Neilap
Re: Toyota F1 Team under investigation! Allegation: Stealing    (Score: 1, Normal) 11-02-2003 10:14
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Toyota replies as is to be expected...

A Toyota spokesman said: "Our only relation to it is that this man now works for us. We have done nothing wrong."

soniccar
Profile for soniccar
Re: Toyota F1 Team under investigation! Allegation: Stealing    (Score: 1, Normal) 11-02-2003 11:32
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Yes, I expected this, they didn't say "we do not tolerate such un-sporting behavior and he will be immediately terminated".

Toyota has bought themselves into something, again, and depending who they pay off now, this could lead to a huge mess as they put a microscope on the team and uncover all sorts of problems.

What notyper said about this has been running around in my head all day. I mean, since there is so much money involved, I can see why The Authorities would do some snooping. But, more deeply seeded is what is considered intellectual property of a company and what is actual property of a employee. Obviously, he had a CD of all CAD drawings and that is like being caught with your hand in the cookie jar. But what of Geoff Willis who used his knowledge gained at Williams; he must have had some notes and programs he developed which he retained and used at Honda? Moneys are offered and these teams trade employees like American Baseball Teams. Not to take up for Toyota, but it seems Ferrari was lashing out because they do not like losing people over money. Ferrari seems to be a sore loser, as of late.

In any case, I will bet on Toyota leaving F1, soon. If they can't buy a good car this year, or have their motor shoved into a better car at another team, they will pull out and go back to CART and NASCAR. Good "American" racing. The only evidence I have to support this is the tone of some of their press releases, and they pulled out of alot of their sponsorship commitments, including that of itv.

hondaracer
Profile for hondaracer
Re: Toyota F1 Team under investigation! Allegation: Stealing    (Score: 1, Normal) 11-02-2003 12:57
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soniccar wrote:
... more deeply seeded is what is considered intellectual property of a company and what is actual property of a employee. Obviously, he had a CD of all CAD drawings and that is like being caught with your hand in the cookie jar. But what of Geoff Willis who used his knowledge gained at Williams; he must have had some notes and programs he developed which he retained and used at Honda? Moneys are offered and these teams trade employees like American Baseball Teams...


the difference is that when a figure at the head of a technical program, like GW, leave for another team, it is obvious that that man's expertise and the ideas in his head go with him. therefore, the team being left behind must pony up the appropriate dough to keep him and his ideas, otherwise he must be considered fair game. you have to be willing to pay. it's a negotiation. that's why BAR can openly say that they would expect similar or better performance from their cars' designs when compared to that of the GW Williams'.

OTOH, toyota has O-B-V-I-O-U-S-L-Y been up to their old tricks, employing a lower level team member with no right to share the information they did. we're obviously not talking any of ferrari's head of design, the only people who could rightly negotiate a move to toyota and justly bring their ideas.

mike gascoyne could certainly bring anything he wanted to toyota's table, and IMO it would be 100% fair if their new car was a renault dead-ringer. but this thing with ferrari is another toyota soulless attempt to take a trophy, no matter how undeserved, in their quest to 'beat' honda at their own game. problem is, they're not even playing the same sport as honda!

Laenra
Profile for Laenra
Re: Toyota F1 Team under investigation! Allegation: Stealing    (Score: 2, Insightful) 11-02-2003 20:59
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Several points...

1. This is a far different situation than the tire controversy. That was essentially two players in a game arguing over a call. This is industrial espinage, it is the violation of national laws and can result in people going to jail.

2. The company retains the rights to all intellectual property, none of it belongs to any employee of the firm. It doesn't matter if the employee is a janitor, the cheif engineer, or the CEO. All ideas, designs, programs, documents, etc belong to the company not the employees. This is made clear on your first day of work when you have to sign a legal document stating that everything belongs to the company. If you don't sign it then you don't go to work.

3. The notion that a former Ferrari employee had stolen a CD and given it to Toyota has been floating around F1 message boards for months. If Toyota hasn't wiped their design department clean by now they are real morons. If the employee was dumb enough to keep the CD or any evidence of its existence at his house than he will be convicted, but Toyota will be in a "he said/she said" situation.

soniccar
Profile for soniccar
Re: Toyota F1 Team under investigation! Allegation: Stealing    (Score: 1, Normal) 11-03-2003 21:21
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No. 3 Is your strongest point, and I agree that Toyota's attitude toward the events that have occured seems to reflect on their corporate culture. If is not their mode of operation, then they sure didn't do anything to rectify the publicity problems.

This is a bad time for this to happen. With the F1 season over, the news media will have a field day with this. There are no other events that will distract from this and the FIA will be forced to do something.

But, Honda beware. Sir Frank's squad was merely joking when they said that the new BAR exhibited the same "midcorner oversteer" that the Williams did, last year. If Williams were Ferrari, an inquiry would have been intiated.


 
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