Renault confirm controversial capture of former FIA technical chief

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Renault have announced the controversial appointment of former FIA technical and sporting co-ordinator Marcin Budkowski, who will join the team as executive director.

The nature of Budkowski's role with the FIA meant he had access to privileged technical information relating to the design secrets of teams.

When it was revealed Budkowski had resigned ahead of last weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix and would serve a period of three months' gardening leave, several teams expressed concerns over his next destination.

Cyril Abiteboul, Renualt's managing director, acknowledged the hiring of Budkowski was a "sensitive topic", but insisted the Pole will operate in a "non-technical capacity" following an extended period of gardening leave.

"We always made it clear that we would not want to be aggressive in relation to [his start date]", said Abiteboul in a news conference at Suzuka on Friday.

"From a contractual perspective he could be available from early next year, 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 I would say would make everyone comfortable.

"I think that is early April. Nothing has been confirmed yet but that is something we are completely prepared to entertain as far as we are concerned.

"It's clear, and we appreciate, that it's a sensitive topic for lots of parties, but it was important I think to present our side of the story. Marcin is coming in a non-technical capacity."

In a Renault statement, Abiteboul added: "Marcin’s mission will be to continue the strengthening of Enstone to enable Renault to join the top Formula 1 teams by 2020."

Prior to Budkowski's appointment, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner had been quoted by Sky F1 as saying: "Marcin is a good guy but the problem is he's been privy to everybody's most intimate secrets from the past and the future. He has all that knowledge in his head - and to expect him not to use that is pretty naive.

"It's vital the teams have faith in the governing body and they can share their technical secrets, in confidence that information doesn't end up with a rival team."

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff added: "I don't think it's correct because he's had access to a lot of information."