Cyril Abiteboul says that Renault’s hiring of ex-FIA official Marcin Budkowski was not done for the purpose of gaining access to its rival’s engineering secrets.
When revealed last summer, Budkowski’s move to the French outfit generated a roaring outcry from teams who feared the governing body’s ex-official, who had spent the major part of his time visiting F1’s factories and validating design secrets, could share confidential information with his new employer.
While he says he understands his fellow team manager’s fears, Abiteboul insists Budkowski had no involvement whatsoever with the development of the team’s 2018 chassis.
“I can understand the scepticism of the teams, but we are not recruiting someone of the calibre of Marcin in a position of executive director just for what he knows of the other teams,” Abiteboul told Motorsport.com.
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“We are recruiting him for his capabilities, his experience, his skills. He’s someone coming with a fantastic CV, outside of Formula 1 also, and he’s a perfect fit for building the next stage of Renault in Formula 1.
“We are not interested in the secrets about the other cars, and I think a good demonstration is the fact we have accepted basically to keep him in isolation from any chassis development until April.
“The situation is he will actually be under our payroll from January onward, but not involved in any Formula 1 chassis development.
“He will be involved in non-F1 work, focusing on the number of other racing activities we are doing.
“I need him also to understand the wider Renault organisation. There is an acclimatisation process before he can focus on the chassis development and operational activity he will be doing in Enstone from April onwards.”
Abiteboul added that expectations were for Budkowski to focus on an organizational role within Renault’s technical structure which includes Nick Chester, Bob Bell and Remi Taffin, and help the squad move to “the next level”.
“The job of Marcin is basically to move Enstone from being a very strong midfield contender to becoming a top team,” says the French manager.
“Marcin will really be focused on building the organisation and the operation to make sure we are aligned with our ambition for 2020-2021, when we want to start fighting for the championship.
“I want Marcin to build the perfect Formula 1 team of the 21st Century.”
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