Renault has confirmed that Marcin Budkowski will join the team as its Executive Director. The story has caused a stir in the Formula 1 paddock, as the Pole only recently stepped down from his role as FIA technical chief, where he had access to all of the team's 2018 plans.
The bosses of F1 teams met last week in Malaysia to discuss the matter and even wrote to the FIA to voice their outrage. However, under Swiss law, (the FIA base is situated in Geneva), gardening leave amounts to just three months, meaning Budkowski will join before the start of the 2018 season.
Speaking about the move, Renault's Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul said: "There have been a lot of positive changes these last few months at Renault Sport Racing with an accelerated expansion at Enstone, the restructuring of our engine deployment from Viry with the supply of two top customer teams for 2018, three titles in a row in an increasingly competitive Formula E championship and other motor racing categories, and the arrival of new strategic partners.
"All of this is happening in a context where the seasons are longer and more intense. It was clear that the Renault Sport Racing management structure needed reinforcing. Marcin’s mission will be to continue the strengthening of Enstone to enable Renault to join the top Formula 1 teams by 2020, through relying on the proven personnel of the likes of Bob Bell, Nick Chester and Rob White. Marcin’s arrival is excellent news and further proof of our determination to achieve our goals.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing