FIA to regulate potential future staff departures for F1 teams


Following another controversy surrounding the exit of one of its officials, the FIA is working on an internal regulation which should govern the departure of staff members for F1 teams in the future.

FIA official and deputy race director Laurent Mekies will be leaving the governing body to join Ferrari in September.

The move comes after FIA technical director Marcin Budkowski was recruited by Renault last year, a decision which at the time caused an outcry among the teams given the official's special knowledge of many outfits' proprietary information or technology.

At F1's most recent Strategy Group meeting, teams agreed to enforce a 12-month gardening leave on any FIA member joining an F1 squad, but Mekies will be heading to Maranello in six months, a delay which breaches the teams' tacit agreement according to both McLaren's Eric Boullier and Red Bull's Christian Horner.

No team has yet filed a formal complaint with the FIA, but F1 race director Charlie Whiting says the governing body will take action to regulate the eventual future exit of its F1-bound officials.

“I can understand why some teams may be a little upset, but I think the sort of information that Laurent had available to him was somewhat less sensitive than Marcin," said Whiting.

"I’ve not actually heard any team complain to me about it. I’ve read a few stories, but no team has approached me and expressed any displeasure about this.

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

"Maybe when we meet in a couple of weeks’ time with all the teams, it might come up then," he added.

"After Marcin left there was quite a bit of discussion about this in the Strategy Group, and in the F1 Commission, as you may have heard. Certain guidelines were suggested.

"Things are still being worked on with the relevant teams and with our legal people to see what can be done within the law, in various countries. That’s still work that’s ongoing."

While Christian Horner is adamant that everyone agreed to the 12-month gardening leave pact, Ferrari sources have indicated that the Italian outfit was not aware of the so-called gentleman's agreement.

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