Pollock says Gilles Simon situation a matter for the FIA to solve

Craig Pollock believes the controversy over the appointment of Gilles Simon to his PURE company is a matter for the FIA to sort out, with teams set to ask the governing body to learn lessons from the situation

Pollock says Gilles Simon situation a matter for the FIA to solve

PURE announced last week that it had signed Simon from his role as FIA's director of power train and electronics to be its new technical director with almost immediate effect.

That move left a number of teams and manufacturers unhappy, because Simon knows a great deal about the future 2014 power unit regulations, and has been in discussions with engine makers about their own V6 plans. It is feared that such information could provide a competitive advantage to PURE.

Pollock is adamant, however, that Simon arrives at PURE without any privileged data - and he says it is not his company's fault that Simon was able to leave his position so swiftly.

When asked if he could understand the concerns of teams about Simon having access to business and technical plans of the manufacturers over the past few years, Pollock told AUTOSPORT: "They have not given business plans and they have not given all technical plans. I think that is a slight exaggeration.

"They have all been part of meetings that have been open discussions, and in the open discussions every manufacturer knows what the other manufacturer is doing. But I can understand them. If I was a chassis manufacturer, and I signed up Adrian Newey from Red Bull Racing, then I am sure there would be others who would not be very happy. I think the situation is a little bit like that.

"I am very happy that Gilles is with us. But I would like to make it clear: we are not here to fight against other manufacturers; we are here to work with them to make sure the sport is going to be stronger in the future."

Pollock held talks with manufacturers at last weekend's Hungarian GP to discuss the situation - and especially made it clear to Renault's Rob White, who questioned the Simon situation in an FIA press conference, that any unhappiness should be directed at the FIA.

"I had a long chat with Rob White, and I purposefully pulled him out because he had made a statement in the FIA press conference.

"I can understand what he is saying, and I suggested Rob also discusses that directly with Gilles Simon. Rob has made it clear, however, that the problem does not lie with myself and PURE, the problem actually lies within the system and the FIA.

"If somebody wants to leave a position, then there are certain ways they can do that - and it depends on the contract. Gilles was free to leave the FIA without any blockages, without any gardening leave and it was done all above board."

Several teams said over the Hungarian GP weekend that they planned to contact the FIA to discuss the matter.

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: "I think it is always a sensitive issue when someone from within the FIA who has access to sensitive intellectual property of the teams or automotive manufacturers is then able to leave the following Monday to a competitor.

"You can imagine it has left a little bit of discussion and we will discuss it with the FIA. It has happened. I don't think you can wind the clock back. We are not going to change that situation, but I think it would be quite useful to have some reassurance for the future."

Renault boss Eric Boullier said: "For me it is an issue. He had access to a lot of IP and a lot of information, as he was talking to a lot of engine people. The FIA should release people at least with a gardening leave period long enough to make sure there is no transfer of technology."

Pollock said he too would be in favour of the FIA tying its staff members down in the future so they cannot make such immediate changes to competitors.

"I have got absolutely nothing against that, but you cannot do something after fact," he said. "Going forwards, whatever is good for the sport I will go along with if it makes sense.

"Everybody is in business to make money; they are not in business to lose money. And it is my need to have a new boy coming in to a manufacturing position to make sure my company is as competitive as anybody else. All I have done is fought for my own company."

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