Mercedes Suing F1 Engineer for Data Theft

Mercedes-Benz AG is suing one of its former Formula 1 engineers for taking confidential documents and data as he prepared to join Ferrari.

According to an October 19 filing released on Monday, engine producer for the Formula 1 team, Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains, is suing Benjamin Hoyle. Hoyle intends to join the teams’ main 2015 competitors Ferrari after his contract expires in December.

Hoyle told Mercedes he would be resigning at the end of his contract but shortly afterwards, Mercedes became aware of Hoyle’s intentions to join Ferrari, reassigning him to unrelated Formula 1 duties.

The suit alleges that Hoyle searched for and saved files relating to Mercedes’ F1 engines and files containing code required to decrypt raw race data files. In an attempt to conceal his misbehavior, he deleted the files, said the company.

Mercedes wants to block Hoyle from joining Ferrari or any other F1 competitor until after the 2016 season also including the return of all documents and information Hoyle took.

The company said in the filing, “Hoyle’s actions were calculated to destroy or seriously damage the relationship of trust he has with Mercedes. Mr. Hoyle and potentially Ferrari have gained an unlawful advantage.”