F1's worsening espionage scandal has reached a new low for beleaguered McLaren. In addition to the 780-page dossier of secrets, it is now reported that Nigel Stepney, the sacked former chief mechanic, may also have telephoned and emailed Mike Coughlan with tip-offs about Maranello based Ferrari - including its moveable floor.

It is a fact that McLaren asked the FIA for a clarification about the underbody rules at the Australian grand prix this season, which resulted in Ferrari having to change the design. Italian investigators are also scouring Stepney's bank account details to see who might have paid him, and have confiscated several mobile phones that he could have used.

Stepney's Italian lawyer Sonia Bartolini, meanwhile, revealed that Ferrari has turned down her client's request for a meeting with team boss Jean Todt. She told La Gazzetta dello Sport: "We are disappointed. Surely it is in everyone's interest to clear this up." (GMM)