Renault has confirmed that the arrival of its new executive director Marcin Budkowski has been delayed until next April. Renault caused controversy earlier this year when it announced that it had signed Budkowski to a senior role after he stepped down from his position as FIA technical chief one week earlier.
Teams were outraged as during his role with the FIA, he had seen plans for the 2018 cars and had been inside the wind tunnels at the factories. Renault's rivals feared that Budkowski would bring this information to the French team, revealing their detailed secrets.
Budkowski's gardening leave has now been doubled, as Renault and the FIA look to take weight off the situation. Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul told Autosport: "I will confirm exactly what is going on, and he will be in Enstone on April 1."
FIA President Jean Todt said that the governing body of Formula 1 spoke to Renault about the situation, as it was also unimpressed by the signing: "The teams were upset? The FIA was upset!
"I would say sometimes when you have talented engineers leaving you are never happy. Those people are under Swiss contract, and we have limitations. And so it was three-months gardening leave. We finally agreed with Renault that he will only start on April 1 – which means six months. That is the way it is."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing