F1 ESPIONAGE: Mercedes power unit engineer Benjamin Hoyle is at the centre of a scandal involving Ferrari, but the Italian team denied claims he would join the scarlet outfit. Image: AP/ Mark Baker
Berlin, Germany - Ferrari has played down reports it has signed-up F1's latest alleged espionage protagonist.
Bloomberg news agency revealed on Tuesday that Mercedes is suing a power unit engineer Benjamin Hoyle after he allegedly copied confidential data ahead of his move to Ferrari in 2016.
Ferrari deny contract negotiations
Omnicorse, a specialist Italian publication, quoted Ferrari sources as saying contact between the fabled Maranello team and Hoyle was only ever "very informal with us, and presumably with other teams as well".
Read: Mercedes sues F1 engineer for espionage
And a Ferrari spokesman said on the record that there is no contract between the team and Hoyle, and he is not joining Ferrari "in the foreseeable future".
Mercedes, meanwhile, confirmed the legal action against Hoyle but told us: "We ask for your understanding that we do not wish to comment further on this matter."