Renault confirms controversial signing of Marcin Budkowski as executive director

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Renault has confirmed the controversial appointment of former FIA technical chief Marcin Budkowski as executive director.

Ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix it was confirmed Budkowski had left his position with the governing body and been put on a three-month period of gardening leave. At that weekend's race in Sepang the bosses of the team's in the Strategy Group had a meeting in the paddock on the issue, with Red Bull's Christian Horner later saying it would take "major issue" with Budkowski being allowed to join a rival on such a timeframe.

The short period of gardening leave is what has upset many of Renault's rivals. In his previous role, Budkowski was a key point of contact for all teams making enquiries about the legality of future development and he would have gained a detailed knowledge of every team's current cars and plans for 2018. Renault's rivals feel their secrets could now be taken to the Enstone team.

Horner has since suggested a more appropriate time for gardening leave would be "anywhere between 12 and 18 months", allowing developments to advance to a point where Budkowski no longer had special knowledge. Budkowski was only given three months as he was employed under Swiss law.

Renault has welcome him to the team, though its press release did not confirm exactly when he would start.

Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul said: "There have been a lot of positive changes these last few months at Renault Sport Racing with an accelerated expansion at Enstone, the restructuring of our engine deployment from Viry with the supply of two top customer teams for 2018, three titles in a row in an increasingly competitive Formula E championship and other motor racing categories, and the arrival of new strategic partners.

"All of this is happening in a context where the seasons are longer and more intense. It was clear that the Renault Sport Racing management structure needed reinforcing. "Marcin's mission will be to continue the strengthening of Enstone to enable Renault to join the top Formula One teams by 2020, through relying on the proven personnel of the likes of Bob Bell, Nick Chester and Rob White.

"Marcin's arrival is excellent news and further proof of our determination to achieve our goals."

The issue is expected to be raised at the next meeting of the Strategy Group, of which Renault is not a part of due to its finishing position in the 2016 championship. The group currently consists of Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull, Force India, Williams and McLaren.