FIA appoints Gilles Simon as technical chief

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Effective September 1, the FIA has made changes to the structure of its technical division, redistributing responsibilities for sporting and technical matters across the Federation's single-seater championships.

Gilles Simon, who had been working for Honda in Sakura, Japan, has become the FIA's Head of Technical. Simon previously worked for the FIA in 2010 as technical and powertrain director before leaving to set up Pure, a company founded with the aim of designing, developing, and launching F1 power units for the 2014 and 2020 engine regulations.

"Reporting to the Secretary General for Sport, Gilles Simon will be acting as FIA Technical Director," the FIA said in a statement. "As such, he will contribute to the development of the FIA championships, proposing ambitious and pragmatic technical solutions in line with the FIA's strategic and sporting vision for its championships. To that end, he will work in close cooperation with the FIA departments responsible for the global management of the championships, as well as with the safety department."

Of particular relevance to Formula One is the creation of a new single-seater department, which is to be headed by none other than Charlie Whiting.

The move, which follows the 2017 launch of the FIA Formula Two championship, is aimed at bringing the various single-seater Formulae (Fs 1, 2, 3, and 4) under the same umbrella, completing the single-seater pyramid that was one of FIA President Jean Todt's 2013 election platforms.

Whiting's brief is to "strengthen the links between the grassroots levels and the top of the pyramid; optimise the processes and the synergies of these championships; and benefit from the increased integration of the F1 Department within the FIA," the Federation said in a statement.

The single-seater department will itself be split into two distinct branches: technical, headed by Marcin Budkowski, and sporting and championship management, run by Laurent Mekies.

Frederic Bertrand, formerly head of the FIA's Single-Seater Commission, is now turning his attention to other categories, including Formula E, the World Endurance Championship, and touring cars.