The issue of Marcin Budkowski's 'gardening leave' will be discussed during the next F1 strategy group meeting. Renault finally announced at Suzuka that Budkowski has left his leading technical role at the FIA to become the Enstone team's executive director.
Team boss Cyril Abiteboul said he will start work in "early April", despite the fact that Swiss law and his FIA contract means he actually only has to serve three months of gardening leave: "But we have had a constructive discussion with the FIA and I believe that we are close to reaching an agreement on a start date that would I say makes everyone comfortable," said the Frenchman.
However, Renault rivals remain furious, insisting that for an engineer with so much knowledge about every team's car should serve up to 18 months of gardening leave: "Nobody wants to get in Marcin's way," said Mercedes chief Toto Wolff at Suzuka. "We just need to discuss how long the gardening leave should be in such cases. The topic is on the agenda for the next strategy group meeting, where everyone can have their opinion."
McLaren boss Eric Boullier adds: "We have nothing against Renault. But we want to draw the attention of the FIA to this situation, because this is a matter of trust: "In the case of leading technical experts, the mandatory leave period should be longer."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing