F1 team bosses concerned over Budkowski

F1 team bosses concerned over Budkowski

29 September 2017 – Formula 1 team bosses have expressed concerns over rumours linking Marcin Budkowski, the former head of the FIA's technical department, with Renault.

Budkowski handed in his resignation earlier this week and, as outlined by the FIA, will serve a three-month period of gardening leave, prior to being released from his contract.

In his role, Budkowski had access to an array of highly sensitive technical information, including team and engine data, and development ideas.

He has already been linked with a switch to Renault and, given the relatively short leave period, several team chiefs are unhappy about the situation.

Red Bull's Christian Horner said: "We will take major issue with that if he does end up in another team.

"In these individuals, you place an enormous of trust, in the role that Marcin has been responsible for.

"He has been in an extremely privileged position where he has extremely recently been in people's wind tunnels, been looking at intimate details of knowledge of next year's cars.

"I think three months' notice period for him then to turn up in a competitor team in Formula 1 is entirely inappropriate.

"I certainly hope that isn't the case and I am sure it will get discussed quite seriously at the next Strategy Group meeting.

"It's an important, vital role, and it's vital that the teams have trust and faith in the governing body that they can share and discuss their technical know-how, their technical secrets in many respects, which cost millions of pounds, in confidence that that information does not have the ability to end up in a rival team."

Sauber's Fred Vasseur added: "We need to know where Marcin will go, but I think it is a big issue.

"The FIA is fully aware of all the details of a team's project, and at the end of the day, if we cannot be open with the FIA it is a tricky situation."

Force India's Otmar Szafnauer called for the three-month period of leave to be extended to a year, so that any information carried over is no longer "leading edge".

"It would have been nice to know the notice period," he said.

"Three months I don't think is long enough, and had we known it was three months earlier, perhaps we would have hired him! I think three months is nowhere near long enough.

"I think a year, it has to be long enough such that the technology that he is aware of becomes… not obsolete, but not leading edge.

"I think there are some sporting regulations too that prohibit us from selling current-year cars, for exactly the same reason.

"I think notice periods should follow along the same lines."

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