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2018 F1

Mercedes cool as Ferrari poaches FIA man

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Laurent Mekies, FIA Deputy Race Director recently joined to Ferrari technical team

Toto Wolff is reacting calmly to the latest controversial personnel switch in formula one.

Last year, the move of Marcin Budkowski from the FIA to Renault caused a major stir, triggering a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ between teams about poaching staff from the governing body.

But now Laurent Mekies, another prominent FIA figure, has been snapped up by Ferrari.

“I can understand if some teams are a little bit upset,” said F1 race director Charlie Whiting.

“But the degree of confidentiality of the information Laurent had access to was not as high as in the case of Marcin,” he said.

“Actually, none of the teams have complained to me. I’ve read some stories in the pressure but there were no official complaints,” Whiting revealed.

Interestingly, Red Bull has accused Ferrari of breaking the gentlemen’s agreement, but reigning champions Mercedes seem calm.

“For me, Ferrari signing Mekies is ok,” Toto Wolff told Bild newspaper.

“September is a long time from now — the season will be well underway by then.”

One rumour is that Wolff is “ok” with the move because Mercedes is now considering following suit by also poaching staff from the FIA.

“After the Budkowski story, it’s not surprising. Until then, I had not thought it possible for this to happen, but the consequence is that we will see it more often in the future,” he said.

Asked if other teams will poach FIA staff, Wolff answered: “I think so. There will be more movement between the teams, the FIA and FOM in the future.”

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