Horner angry with Ferrari over FIA swoop

Date published: March 22 2018

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has strongly opposed the deal that will see FIA official Laurent Mekies join Ferrari later in the season.

Mekies is due to a serve a six-month gardening leave period before he joins the Scuderia's technical team, but Horner is perplexed that such a negotiation has been completed when discussions only took place recently to put a stop to FIA personnel from joining teams within the same season.

"It was quite clear – that with the FIA, FOM or vice versa from a team – that there would be a 12-month grace period," Horner told Motorsport.com.

"I even made comments that it should be accompanied with a million dollar donation to the FIA Road Safety Foundation – which the president [Jean Todt] was particularly receptive to.

"So what is disappointing is that within six weeks of that meeting, here we are with an individual that will be going with a huge amount of knowledge and know-how."

Horner also said that information and know-how is really the only reason why Ferrari have sought his services.

He added: "Only last November/December, our technical staff are sitting in meetings discussing with him suspension systems, etc., and that is his value.

"And it is wrong – because you place trust in these officials, rightly so, because they are the governing body. It is wrong then for that to end up at a competitor.

"With the best will in the world, his value is his knowledge. Okay he is good at his job but his value is enhanced by the fact that he knows privileged information, which isn't illegal for him to take there as long as he hasn't got drawings or data, which I obviously doubt very much that he has.

"But he still has the know-how in his head and that is something… it is not what we agreed."

This is not the first time Horner has strongly opposed such a deal, as he too was one of the leading voices trying to put a stop to Renault appointing FIA technical director Marcin Budkowski last season.