Renault Formula 1 technical chief Nick Chester has downplayed the impact FIA staff can have when joining teams, saying that a one-year gardening leave period is "probably enough" to ensure there is no advantage to be gained.

Two leading FIA technical staff members - Marcin Budkowski and Laurent Mekies - have signed deals to join F1 teams over the past six months, sparking concern from some quarters about the possible transfer of sensitive information from the governing body to rival outfits.

Renault opted to extend Budkowski's gardening leave stint to six months in order to allay concerns, while Ferrari came under fire for allegedly failing to adhere to a gentleman's agreement of a one-year grace period in its signing of Mekies, who will join in September.

Asked by Crash.net about the suggested leave periods, Chester said that 12 months was "probably enough" for FIA staff, but downplayed the amount of information they would be able to transfer.

"The FIA obviously know what questions get asked by the teams. But when a team asks a question they don’t always know the intent behind it," Chester said.

"They don’t always know all the design details. Although there’s this feeling that all the guys in the FIA know loads about all the cars, they can’t because they haven’t got the bandwidth to get that deeply into the detail.

"So I think a year is probably OK."

 

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