Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 8°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Essex: F1 Ferrari engineer Nigel Stepney killed in crash on M20 in Kent

09:10 05 May 2014

Ex-Ferrari technician Nigel Stepney was killed on the M20 near Ashford in Kent when he was struck by a lorry on Friday morning. Photo: Press Association.

Ex-Ferrari technician Nigel Stepney was killed on the M20 near Ashford in Kent when he was struck by a lorry on Friday morning. Photo: Press Association.

Archant

A grieving north-Essex family last night paid tribute to a “devoted” father-of-one and former top Formula One engineer killed in a motorway accident.

shares

Ex-Ferrari chief mechanic Nigel Stepney, who enjoyed a lengthy career in F1, died after being involved in a collision with a lorry on the M20 near Ashford in Kent on Friday morning.

The 56-year-old was part of the hugely successful team at Ferrari which dominated the sport in the early 2000s, but found himself at the centre of a F1 
“spygate” scandal. He lost his job after being accused of sabotage and leaking confidential data to McLaren in 2007.

Speaking from her north-Essex home, Mr Stepney’s long-term partner, Ash Naidoo, mother of the couple’s seven-year-old daughter Sabine, paid tribute to his passion, energy and devotion to his daughter.

In a statement, she said: “Nigel was wonderful to know, larger than life and full of energy. Motor sport was his passion topped only by his love and devotion to Sabine and me.

“Nigel was a wonderful partner and a hands-on dad who was besotted with his daughter who idolized him in return.

“They loved each other’s company and Sabine was his shadow; delighting in helping him around the garage at race meetings. Even if Nigel had to be away from home, he would telephone her every day.

“Nigel and I had 10 wonderful years together. The first things I noticed about him when we met in Australia were how warm, funny and easy to talk to he was. He was also very persistent.

“Nigel did everything with a passion. He adored Italy and spoke fluent Italian, he loved wine, Manchester United, cycling and doing anything on water, but most of all he was devoted to our daughter Sabine.

“To see this big, talented, engaging man so besotted with her was wonderful.

“Nigel’s death has left a void in our lives that will never be filled. This is a terrible time and I am so grateful for the love and support of our family and friends and Nigel’s colleagues from the world of motor sport, especially JRM.”

Mr Stepney’s career in Formula One included working with world champions Ayrton Senna – who died during a Grand Prix 20 years ago on Thursday – at Lotus and Michael Schumacher at Ferrari.

Stepney left F1 behind to pursue a new career in the world of sports cars where he found renewed success.

Four years ago he joined Northamptonshire-based JRM as racing team manager and technical director.

James Rumsey, the owner of JRM, said Mr Stepney had “brought a level of engineering experience to us that was unrivalled”.

He said: “A man that engineered Ayrton Senna at Lotus and helped to guide Michael Schumacher to five Formula One World Championships with Ferrari was the perfect candidate to establish JRM as a serious team in circuit-based motorsport and the role that he played in achieving that standard will never be underestimated or forgotten.

“Nigel was an intense and fierce competitor and always strived for excellence.”

Mr Stepney also worked for Shadow, and Benetton during his career.

Kent Police said: “A silver VW caddy van, driven by a 56 year-old man from the Essex area, had stopped on the hard shoulder of the M20 London-bound carriageway at Ashford.

“For reasons yet to be established, the man appears to have entered the carriageway and was then in collision with an articulated goods vehicle. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.”

shares

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

The A1092 through Clare was closed following the accident.

A cyclist who died following a road traffic collision in Clare on Sunday has been named as Sean Hickey from Connaught Road, Haverhill.

Mike and Natalie Gee are upset and worried at having to pay £13,000 for the council to make modifications to their home in Ipswich. Natalie has recently become paraplegic after a spinal injury and is in a wheelchair.

“I just want to be a mummy again” – that is the message from an Ipswich woman who was told she would never walk again by doctors.

Ipswich Town Hall.

District councils in Suffolk and north Essex spent more than £20million on redundancy packages over a five-year period, with some departing staff receiving six-figure payouts, an investigation has found.

County Hall, Chelmsford.

An Essex education chief has warned the government to “think carefully” about plans to force all schools to become academies – as figures revealed County Hall could lose more than £1billion in land assets if the proposals go ahead.

Pupils and students, outside Bealings Primary School, whowere due to strike today.

Schoolchildren across Suffolk are “on strike” in protest at controversial tests for six and seven-year-olds.

The new Ipswich police headquarters from insurance company offices in Civic Drive in July 1968

In the summer of 1968 the Ipswich Police Station moved from under the Town Hall to a new building at the junction of Civic Drive and Elm Street. 
Last June work started to demolish this landmark building and the site is now being converted to a temporary surface car park.

The Middy in the war years event at Mid Suffolk Light Railway at Wetheringsett.

A large number of visitors attended a Suffolk heritage railway’s annual 1940s event during the Bank Holiday weekend.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24