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Renault willing to wait until April for Budkowski

NEWS STORY
06/10/2017

While legally, Marcin Budkowski is only required to serve three months gardening leave after quitting his role with the FIA, which would make him available to Renault as early as January, speaking today team boss Cyril Abiteboul admitted he was willing to wait a further three months until April.

The admission came just a couple of hours after Renault finally confirmed Budkowski's appointment, the FIA's former F1 technical chief joining the French team as Executive Director, in which role he will oversee all chassis development and production activities.

At a time the teams are considering what action they might take, having already made their feelings clear to Jean Todt, Abiteboul admitted that he hoped extending Budkowski's gardening leave might ease fears and calm the situation.

"We always made it clear that we would not want to be aggressive in relation to that," said the Frenchman. "From a contractual point of view he could be available as soon as early next year, but we have had constructive discussions with the FIA. I believe that we are close to reaching an agreement for a start date that would make everyone be comfortable.

"I think the date of early April, which is basically twice his gardening provision, has been discussed," he added. "Nothing has been confirmed yet but that is something that we are completely prepared to entertain as far as we are concerned."

While the six month period might be acceptable to some, other teams are calling for his leave to be extended to as much as 18 months.

While refusing to say whether Renault approached Budkowski or the other way round, Abiteboul attempted to play down fears that the Pole will be in a position to share their secrets with his new employer, emphasising the managerial aspect of his new position.

"Marcin is coming in a non-technical capacity," he insisted. "He is coming in a senior position to the team, and I think it is a great career development for him. It is something he is doing because it makes sense in his career. And, as far as we are concerned, since we came back, we are still building our team, building our structure.

"We tried something with Fred Vasseur which unfortunately did not work out," he continued, "and Fred has now found a position with Sauber. There was still a gap and a position to be filled, simply because there is a lot to be done. There is lots to do and I just needed some help and someone I could trust and that can work alongside me, in particular in development of the Enstone team."

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1. Posted by Yeyox02, 06/10/2017 19:17

"Budkowski's gardening leave might be six months or one year anyway he has got critical information that Renault can use at any moment."

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