Vasseur fears growing 'mess' if FIA staff continue to jump ship

Frederic Vasseur (FRA) Managing Director, Sauber

Sauber team principal Frederic Vasseur fears that the recent trend of senior FIA staff leaving the governing body to take up positions with Formula 1 teams could lead to a climate of mistrust.

The FIA's technical officer Marcin Budkowski was poached by Renault in September. And last month, deputy race director and safety delegate Laurent Mekies quit his post in order to take up a senior role at Ferrari.

Vasseur said that teams were now having to worry about how much research and development information they shared with the FIA.

"If we canโ€™t trust them it will be an issue, because we need to be very open with the FIA," he told this week.

โ€œWe need to ask them if weโ€™re in the regulations or not. If we are scared about this, it will be the beginning of a mess."

Currently FIA staff have to serve three months of 'gardening leave' before they can join a team. That's the most allowed by Swiss employment law. Renault and Ferrari voluntarily doubled this in the cases of Budkowski and Mekies.

But Vasseur said that FIA technical staff still had too much current, in-depth knowledge of what all the teams were working on.

โ€œI remember perfectly the situation with Marcin," he said. "He was in all the wind tunnels two weeks before he left.

โ€œLaurent is aware of key details of every single car," Vasseur continued. "Even if he was more focused on safety heโ€™s aware of the key structure.

"Itโ€™s a shame that we are not in the situation that the FIA could find a solution to keep their key guys."

But Sauber's own technical director has a different view on the subject to that of his boss.

"I would not like to block people," Jorg Zander told Speed Week. "Of course you want to protect your own developments, but you also have to see both sides.

"You have to see it from the point of view of the employer and the employee too," he insisted.

"You also cannot fool yourself. If someone wants to work for a team then he will, regardless of the contracts."

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