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Renault, FIA confirm compromise made on start date of Budkowski

Written by  Dec 01, 2017

Renault Sport Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul and FIA President Jean Todt have confirmed a compromise has been made on the start date of former Technical Director at the governing body, Marcin Budkowski.

The French manufacturer announced the appointment of Budkowski in October to start on January 1st, however, that did not sit well with many teams as they expressed concerns he could share secrets about design ideas put forward to him for clarification of legality as part of his previous role.

Now, following conversations between Renault at the other teams, his start date has been pushed back to April 1st, following the 2018 season opener in Australia, in a hope that the knowledge he has would not be as beneficiary as the ideas had been further developed.

While Abiteboul only confirmed the new date Budkowski will take the role of Executive Director, FIA President Todt explained why the problem existed in the first place.

"The teams were upset? The FIA was upset!" the Frenchman retorted initially at the reaction to the announcement. "I would say sometimes when you have talented engineers leaving you are never happy, but those people are under Swiss contract and we have limitations so it was three months' gardening leave.

"We finally agreed with Renault that he will only start on April 1 - which means six months. That is the way it is."

Some teams, notably Mercedes, are known to be very difficult when it comes to periods of gardening leave often extending it out to a year or longer. With no official rules on the matter, Todt admits the emphasis is on the teams to work it out.

"If the teams globally are not happy, it is easy that they make a gentleman's agreement among them and they would agree that they don't hire any FIA employees or engineers, without respecting a minimum of one year's gardening leaving. They should all agree on that," he said.

"On our side, we will try to make the most solid contract in order to protect us and to protect them, but there is little we can do."


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