FIA deputy race director Mekies jumps ship for Maranello

(L to R): Laurent Mekies (FRA) FIA Safety Director with Charlie Whiting (GBR) FIA Delegate
© XPB 

The FIA has lost another key member of its senior management team. The governing body's deputy race director Laurent Mekies has quit his post in order to take up a new role at Ferrari.

Mekies originally joined the FIA in 2014 as safety director, He was given the additional role of deputy race director reporting to Charlie Whiting when Herbie Blash stepped down from F1 in 2016.

The Frenchman had been responsible for all safety and medical matters across the FIA’s championships including Formula 1.

He also oversaw research and development, and homologation on both the track and road and more recently sporting matters.

Mekies will immediately cease all involvement in Formula 1. However, he will continue to act as the FIA's safety director until the end of June.

He will formally join Ferrari on September 20. He will be working in their technical team, reporting to technical director Mattia Binotto.

Laurent Mekies (FRA) FIA Safety Director

It's the second high profile departure from the FIA in the last six months. Last September, Marcin Budkowski abruptly quit his role as the FIA's F1 technical director.

The Pole subsequently accepted a new job at Renault. Rival teams were concerned that his knowledge of technical innovations across the sport might give his new employers an unfair advantage.

At the time, Red Bull boss Christian Horner said at the time that it was unacceptable for senior FIA figures like Budkowski to be subject to only three months of 'gardening leave'.

"I think three months notice period and for him to then turn up in a competitor team in F1, is entirely inappropriate," Horner said.

Renault subsequently agreed to extend Budkowski's enforced time out. He will now start work at Enstone at the beginning of next month.

Teams will likely have similar concerns with Mekies about confidentiality. Ferrari have acted to defuse further furore by adopting a similar defferal before he starts work at Maranallo.

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