Safety director Laurent Mekies leaves FIA for Ferrari F1 role

Ferrari has lured FIA safety and deputy race director Laurent Mekies from Formula 1's governing body, a move that will likely prompt fresh controversy about secrets being taken to teams

Safety director Laurent Mekies leaves FIA for Ferrari F1 role

Less than six months on from Renault's signing of FIA technical chief Marcin Budkowski prompting an outcry among rival teams, Ferrari announced on Wednesday that Mekies was joining it in an unspecified technical role.

Mekies will report to Ferrari's technical director Mattia Binotto when he joins the team later this year.

In a statement issued by the FIA, the governing body said that Mekies would step down from his F1 responsibilities but would continue to fulfil safety roles while he sees out his three-month notice period.

"Until his departure from the FIA at the end of June, Mekies will continue to act as the FIA safety director," said the FIA.

"However he will immediately cease all F1 duties and will no longer be involved in any F1 matter, stepping down from his role as a deputy F1 race director with immediate effect."

Mekies joined the FIA in October 2014 as safety director and has worked on safety matters across all championships as well as R&D and homologation activities.

At the start of 2017 he was appointed deputy F1 race director and had been viewed as a potential successor to current race director Charlie Whiting.

It is unclear how teams will react to Mekies' move, but Budkowski's capture by Renault last October prompted huge unease among teams and forced Renault to delay his arrival at its Enstone base until April this year.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner said at the time that it was unacceptable for senior FIA figures like Budkowski to only serve three months' gardening leave.

"He has been in an extremely privileged position where he has extremely recently been in people's windtunnels and been looking at intimate details of knowledge of next year's cars," he said.

"I think three months notice period and for him to then turn up in a competitor team in F1, is entirely inappropriate."

shares
comments
Williams technical chief Lowe explains 2018 F1 car's 'limitations'
Previous article

Williams technical chief Lowe explains 2018 F1 car's 'limitations'

Next article

Hamilton: Australian Grand Prix update could put Red Bull top in F1

Hamilton: Australian Grand Prix update could put Red Bull top in F1
Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised Plus

Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised

AlphaTauri’s mission in F1 is to sell clothes and train young drivers rather than win the championship – but you still need a cutting-edge factory to do that. Team boss Franz Tost takes GP Racing’s OLEG KARPOV on a guided tour of a facility that’s continuing to grow

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons Plus

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons

Gilles Villeneuve's exploits behind the wheel of a Ferrari made him a legend to the tifosi, even 40 years after his death. The team's current Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc enjoys a similar status, and recently got behind the wheel of a very special car from the French-Canadian’s career

Formula 1
Jun 24, 2022
How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock Plus

How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock

Porpoising has become the key talking point during the 2022 Formula 1 season, as teams battle to come to terms with it. An FIA technical directive ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix and a second stay appearing on the Mercedes cars only served to create a bigger debate and raise tensions further

Formula 1
Jun 23, 2022
Does Verstappen have any weaknesses left? Plus

Does Verstappen have any weaknesses left?

Having extended his Formula 1 points lead with victory in Canada, Max Verstappen has raised his game further following his 2021 title triumph. Even on the days where Red Bull appears to be second best to Ferrari, Verstappen is getting the most out of the car in each race. So, does he have any weaknesses that his title rivals can exploit?

Formula 1
Jun 22, 2022
How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector Plus

How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector

In 2026, Formula 1 plans to make the switch to a fully sustainable fuel, as the greater automotive world considers its own alternative propulsion methods. Biogasoline and e-fuels both have merit as 'drop-in' fuels but, equally, both have their shortcomings...

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
The breakthrough behind Sainz’s best weekend of F1 2022 so far Plus

The breakthrough behind Sainz’s best weekend of F1 2022 so far

OPINION: Carlos Sainz came close to winning in Monaco but needed that race’s specific circumstances for his shot at a maiden Formula 1 victory to appear. Last weekend in Canada, he led the line for Ferrari in Charles Leclerc’s absence from the front. And there’s a key reason why Sainz has turned his 2022 form around

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
Canadian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Plus

Canadian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

Plenty of high scores but just a single perfect 10 from the first Montreal race in three years, as Max Verstappen fended off late pressure from Carlos Sainz. Here’s Autosport’s assessment on the Formula 1 drivers from the Canadian Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2022
Why “faster” Ferrari couldn’t beat Red Bull in Canadian GP Plus

Why “faster” Ferrari couldn’t beat Red Bull in Canadian GP

On paper the Canadian Grand Prix will go down as Max Verstappen’s latest triumph, fending off late pressure from Carlos Sainz to extend his Formula 1 world championship lead. But as safety car periods, virtual and real, shook up the race Ferrari demonstrated it can take the fight to Red Bull after recent failures

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2022