Discussion:
Potential can of worms
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Sir Tim
2017-10-06 08:14:39 UTC
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“Renault has announced the upcoming arrival of former FIA technical
department chief Marcin Budkowski as its Executive Director, following
recent speculation.”

There was much discussion of this on Sky during the washed out P2. Ted
Kravitz suggested that the teams were “not too chuffed about it” whereas
Johnny Herbert described them as “incandescent with rage”. Christian Horner
had much to say on the subject, his main thrust being that the notice
period should be between 6 months to 1 year, with which I agree.

It was generally agreed that Renault have not contravened any regulations
but there was some discussion of “the spirit of the rules” but, as Adrian
Newey was quoted as saying, “there is no such thing as the *spirit* of the
rules, there are just *rules*.
--
Sir Tim
Sir Tim
2017-10-06 08:37:42 UTC
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Latest developments on this story:

http://www.gpupdate.net/en/f1-news/359337/abiteboul-budkowski-set-for-april-arrival/
--
Sir Tim

“Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional”
larkim
2017-10-06 09:17:50 UTC
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Post by Sir Tim
http://www.gpupdate.net/en/f1-news/359337/abiteboul-budkowski-set-for-april-arrival/
--
Sir Tim
“Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional”
Could be a win for McLaren in this in the long run if some of the ideas that
Merc and Ferrari use in their powertrains can benefit Renault.
D Munz
2017-10-06 12:10:52 UTC
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<snip>
...but, as Adrian Newey was quoted as saying, “there is no such thing as >the *spirit* of the rules, there are just *rules*."
--
Sir Tim
Thanks for this. It is a great quote and perfectly aligned with everything F1.

FWIW
DLM
Bigbird
2017-10-06 16:07:26 UTC
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Post by Sir Tim
“Renault has announced the upcoming arrival of former FIA technical
department chief Marcin Budkowski as its Executive Director, following
recent speculation.”
There was much discussion of this on Sky during the washed out P2. Ted
Kravitz suggested that the teams were “not too chuffed about it”
whereas Johnny Herbert described them as “incandescent with rage”.
Christian Horner had much to say on the subject, his main thrust
being that the notice period should be between 6 months to 1 year,
with which I agree.
It was generally agreed that Renault have not contravened any
regulations but there was some discussion of “the spirit of the
rules” but, as Adrian Newey was quoted as saying, “there is no such
thing as the spirit of the rules, there are just rules.
I think it has rather more to do with trust in the governing body.
Sir Tim
2017-10-07 11:32:23 UTC
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Post by Bigbird
Post by Sir Tim
“Renault has announced the upcoming arrival of former FIA technical
department chief Marcin Budkowski as its Executive Director, following
recent speculation.”
There was much discussion of this on Sky during the washed out P2. Ted
Kravitz suggested that the teams were “not too chuffed about it”
whereas Johnny Herbert described them as “incandescent with rage”.
Christian Horner had much to say on the subject, his main thrust
being that the notice period should be between 6 months to 1 year,
with which I agree.
It was generally agreed that Renault have not contravened any
regulations but there was some discussion of “the spirit of the
rules” but, as Adrian Newey was quoted as saying, “there is no such
thing as the spirit of the rules, there are just rules.
I think it has rather more to do with trust in the governing body.
Yes. But what can the FIA do, short of banning any of its technical
staff from ever working for one of the teams?

If Budkowski wants to pass technical information to Renault before the
end of his gardening leave there must surely be a hundred ways of doing
so covertly and you can bet your bottom dollar that if Renault comes up
with any innovation that is remotely similar to another team's the fur
will fly!
--
Sir Tim

“Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional”
m***@gmail.com
2017-10-07 13:57:29 UTC
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Post by Sir Tim
Yes. But what can the FIA do, short of banning any of its technical
staff from ever working for one of the teams?
is it different, really, from McLaren signing an aerodynamicist from Red Bull (which they did)? This happens all the time, and as long as there is gardening leave and as long as no actual documents are transferred then all is good - or at least shrugged off.

How much do you think Williams know about how Mercedes operate?

The one difference I can think of, is that in the case of power units there are probably very few along the pit lane who really knows what goes on inside them. How much do Force India know about the technical details of the PUs they use?

But is that that real a difference? My mind is not made up one way or the other.
D Munz
2017-10-07 17:39:46 UTC
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Post by m***@gmail.com
Post by Sir Tim
Yes. But what can the FIA do, short of banning any of its technical
staff from ever working for one of the teams?
is it different, really, from McLaren signing an aerodynamicist from Red Bull (which they did)? This happens all the time, and as long as there is gardening leave and as long as no actual documents are transferred then all is good - or at least shrugged off.
How much do you think Williams know about how Mercedes operate?
The one difference I can think of, is that in the case of power units there are probably very few along the pit lane who really knows what goes on inside them. How much do Force India know about the technical details of the PUs they use?
But is that that real a difference? My mind is not made up one way or the other.
What about the whole oil burning thing? He may know something there that could allow a team to lodge a protest or make improvements. OR, he could have insight to what the FIA is planning on a clamp-down.

It is a can of worms and, in theory, the gardening leave time dilutes the value. (I actually did this here going from the environmental regulating agency to a consultancy. I was young and a little stupid in that I didn't recognize the value of some of my knowledge around the effects of air pollution control equipment on process efficiency so it didn't really matter but I get the issue now.)

What is the best way to control things so that it is fair to the individual and the sport; I don't really know.

FWIW
DLM
m***@gmail.com
2017-10-07 18:03:29 UTC
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Post by D Munz
Post by m***@gmail.com
Post by Sir Tim
Yes. But what can the FIA do, short of banning any of its technical
staff from ever working for one of the teams?
is it different, really, from McLaren signing an aerodynamicist from Red Bull (which they did)? This happens all the time, and as long as there is gardening leave and as long as no actual documents are transferred then all is good - or at least shrugged off.
How much do you think Williams know about how Mercedes operate?
The one difference I can think of, is that in the case of power units there are probably very few along the pit lane who really knows what goes on inside them. How much do Force India know about the technical details of the PUs they use?
But is that that real a difference? My mind is not made up one way or the other.
What about the whole oil burning thing? He may know something there that could allow a team to lodge a protest or make improvements. OR, he could have insight to what the FIA is planning on a clamp-down.
I think the protest is unlikely. How could any team KNOW that another was up to that? All that stuff is invisible to outsiders.

One of the interesting aspects of the goings on in 2007 was the early protest by McLaren against the Ferrari underfloor. FIA couldn't understand how McLaren could have known about it as the detail they protested was not visible unless the car was stripped down. McLaren can't have SEEN it, but they knew that it was there.

FIA didn't put two and two together then, but looking back it was an early indication that McLaren had information about Ferrari that they couldn't have got through even diligent observation of their opponent's car.

I doubt FIA will make that mistake twice.

The clamp down isn't an issue either. FIA can't change rules without giving the teams notice, and for mid-season changes they have to notify the teams AND get a unanimous vote of approval from the teams (unless they can claim there is a safety issue to address).

Learning how to make use of oil burning IS a possibility.

Interestingly, Renault are saying that next year they will have special modes for use in qualifying - as Merc currently do.
Post by D Munz
It is a can of worms and, in theory, the gardening leave time dilutes the value. (I actually did this here going from the environmental regulating agency to a consultancy. I was young and a little stupid in that I didn't recognize the value of some of my knowledge around the effects of air pollution control equipment on process efficiency so it didn't really matter but I get the issue now.)
What is the best way to control things so that it is fair to the individual and the sport; I don't really know.
Do we need a change? As long as documents don't change hands, it's just people taking what is in their heads - as Lowe did when he went to Williams.
Sir Tim
2017-10-07 21:03:47 UTC
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Post by m***@gmail.com
Do we need a change? As long as documents don't change hands, it's just
people taking what is in their heads - as Lowe did when he went to Williams.
There seems to me to be a difference between a team poaching someone from
another team - in which case the poachee presumably only has information
about the team he is leaving - and a team hiring an ex employee of the FIA
who has knowledge of confidential data from *all* the teams. The former has
always been an occupational hazard but I’m not sure that the latter
situation has arisen before.
--
Sir Tim
m***@gmail.com
2017-10-08 03:45:38 UTC
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Post by Sir Tim
Post by m***@gmail.com
Do we need a change? As long as documents don't change hands, it's just
people taking what is in their heads - as Lowe did when he went to Williams.
There seems to me to be a difference between a team poaching someone from
another team - in which case the poachee presumably only has information
about the team he is leaving - and a team hiring an ex employee of the FIA
who has knowledge of confidential data from *all* the teams. The former has
always been an occupational hazard but I’m not sure that the latter
situation has arisen before.
Gilles Simon worked for Renault and then Peugeot before going to Ferrari wit Jean Todt. He was head of Ferrari's engine unit for 2009 before he moved to FIA to head up a FIA working unit on energy reuse. In 2011 he left FIA to join Craig Pollock's PURE operation. Then when funding wasn't incoming for PURE he joined Honda.

So there's something of a precedent.

People who work for FIA or F1 cannot be tied there forever. That would be restraint of trade. All that can be done is their notice period extended so that they can be put on paid gardening leave, and measures taken to ensure that they don't transfer any design documents.

Everybody in F1 understands that you can't erase what's in a person's head, and in some cases that's why they get hired.
~misfit~
2017-10-08 04:30:35 UTC
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Post by D Munz
Post by m***@gmail.com
Post by Sir Tim
Yes. But what can the FIA do, short of banning any of its technical
staff from ever working for one of the teams?
is it different, really, from McLaren signing an aerodynamicist from
Red Bull (which they did)? This happens all the time, and as long as
there is gardening leave and as long as no actual documents are
transferred then all is good - or at least shrugged off.
How much do you think Williams know about how Mercedes operate?
The one difference I can think of, is that in the case of power
units there are probably very few along the pit lane who really
knows what goes on inside them. How much do Force India know about
the technical details of the PUs they use?
But is that that real a difference? My mind is not made up one way or the other.
What about the whole oil burning thing? He may know something there
that could allow a team to lodge a protest or make improvements.
TTBOMK the ability to switch on and off the amount of oil an ICE uses in F1
will vanish next year. From 2018 the FIA has banned the solenoid between the
crankcase and plenum that can be used to pressurise the crankcase (and thus
allow more oil past the rings).
Post by D Munz
OR,
he could have insight to what the FIA is planning on a clamp-down.
It is a can of worms and, in theory, the gardening leave time dilutes
the value. (I actually did this here going from the environmental
regulating agency to a consultancy. I was young and a little stupid
in that I didn't recognize the value of some of my knowledge around
the effects of air pollution control equipment on process efficiency
so it didn't really matter but I get the issue now.)
What is the best way to control things so that it is fair to the
individual and the sport; I don't really know.
IMO working for the FIA in a position such as his should automatically
disquallify you from ever working with an F1 team at any time in the future.
This guy has intimate details of everything on every car from wheelnuts to
aero to suspension to energy harvesting to the tiniest details of the PU. It
was his job to scrutineer systems that might be in the grey areas of the
rules and then say if they were legal or not. He knows all of the secrets of
all of the teams.
--
Shaun.

"Humans will have advanced a long, long way when religious belief has a cozy
little classification in the DSM*."
David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
(*Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)
m***@gmail.com
2017-10-08 06:00:03 UTC
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Post by ~misfit~
Post by D Munz
Post by m***@gmail.com
Post by Sir Tim
Yes. But what can the FIA do, short of banning any of its technical
staff from ever working for one of the teams?
is it different, really, from McLaren signing an aerodynamicist from
Red Bull (which they did)? This happens all the time, and as long as
there is gardening leave and as long as no actual documents are
transferred then all is good - or at least shrugged off.
How much do you think Williams know about how Mercedes operate?
The one difference I can think of, is that in the case of power
units there are probably very few along the pit lane who really
knows what goes on inside them. How much do Force India know about
the technical details of the PUs they use?
But is that that real a difference? My mind is not made up one way or the other.
What about the whole oil burning thing? He may know something there
that could allow a team to lodge a protest or make improvements.
TTBOMK the ability to switch on and off the amount of oil an ICE uses in F1
will vanish next year. From 2018 the FIA has banned the solenoid between the
crankcase and plenum that can be used to pressurise the crankcase (and thus
allow more oil past the rings).
Post by D Munz
OR,
he could have insight to what the FIA is planning on a clamp-down.
It is a can of worms and, in theory, the gardening leave time dilutes
the value. (I actually did this here going from the environmental
regulating agency to a consultancy. I was young and a little stupid
in that I didn't recognize the value of some of my knowledge around
the effects of air pollution control equipment on process efficiency
so it didn't really matter but I get the issue now.)
What is the best way to control things so that it is fair to the
individual and the sport; I don't really know.
IMO working for the FIA in a position such as his should automatically
disquallify you from ever working with an F1 team at any time in the future.
You're not on the side of the working man, are you?

This would be unenforceable in law, and in any case too easily by passed. The person in question just operates as a consultant - as Symonds did when he was declared person non grata by FIA. He wasn't on the staff.

It does leave a bit of a bad taste. I'ts a bit like a cabinet member resigning and then going to work as a consultant for banks.

But what's the alternative? Pay them a good salary until retirement age/

The usual way of doing it in F1 is the best solution - gardening leave so they can't take anything current with them.
Post by ~misfit~
This guy has intimate details of everything on every car from wheelnuts to
aero to suspension to energy harvesting to the tiniest details of the PU. It
was his job to scrutineer systems that might be in the grey areas of the
rules and then say if they were legal or not. He knows all of the secrets of
all of the teams.
My understanding is that he was involved specifically on the PU side, but they will talk amongst themselves. It was clear from Mosley's autobio that he was aware of some very clever elements of several cars, even though he wasn't directly involved in this.

There has been a previous movement from the FIA technical department to a PU manufacturer. I would not be surprised to find there have been other such movements.
Bigbird
2017-10-07 16:06:43 UTC
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Post by Sir Tim
Post by Bigbird
Post by Sir Tim
“Renault has announced the upcoming arrival of former FIA
technical department chief Marcin Budkowski as its Executive
Director, following recent speculation.”
There was much discussion of this on Sky during the washed out
P2. Ted Kravitz suggested that the teams were “not too chuffed
about it” whereas Johnny Herbert described them as “incandescent
with rage”. Christian Horner had much to say on the subject, his
main thrust being that the notice period should be between 6
months to 1 year, with which I agree.
It was generally agreed that Renault have not contravened any
regulations but there was some discussion of “the spirit of the
rules” but, as Adrian Newey was quoted as saying, “there is no
such thing as the spirit of the rules, there are just rules.
I think it has rather more to do with trust in the governing body.
Yes. But what can the FIA do, short of banning any of its technical
staff from ever working for one of the teams?
If Budkowski wants to pass technical information to Renault before
the end of his gardening leave there must surely be a hundred ways of
doing so covertly and you can bet your bottom dollar that if Renault
comes up with any innovation that is remotely similar to another
team's the fur will fly!
Well to that mind he could do that without having left the FIA's
employ. If one is going to break a contract the technicality of
gardening leave is more or less irrelevant.

I am sure no team would really consider it wise to get on the wrong
side of the FIA.

The fault here is the FIA's if they did not contractually ensure non
disclosure.
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