An employee of the Toyota F1 team, understood to be a former Ferrari engineer, has been questioned by police in Germany following claims of industrial espionage.

An employee of the Toyota F1 team, understood to be a former Ferrari engineer, has been questioned by police in Germany following claims of industrial espionage.


During the 2003 F1 season, some observers quipped that the Toyota TF103 looked so much like the Ferrari F2002 (and F2003-GA) that it was nicknamed the “Ferrari with a Toyota engine”. But reported at the weekend that police searched the residence of an Italian engineer was a former (less than two years ago) Ferrari employee.


Following an initial search of the man's home, investigators visited the Japanese team's Cologne HQ and carried out a further search. It's understood that a number of items, including hard disks and CDs were confiscated. The man's co-workers were also questioned.


Toyota has not issued a statement but German sports news agency reports that the Japanese team has confirmed the investigation and the arrest but is adamant it has done nothing wrong and that the investigation is into the man and not Toyota.


"Our only relation to it is that this man now works for us," the spokesman told . "We have done nothing wrong."


It's understood the investigation in Germany follows a request from Italian prosecutors in Modena, after an official complaint of industrial espionage was lodged. However, Ferrari has declined to comment on the issue.

Original article from Car