When Formula One opted to switch from the planned four-cylinder engine regulations to the new six-cylinder format, it came as good news (or at least, less bad news than originally expected) to just about everyone involved. With the possible exception of PURE.

As you may recall, former BAR-Honda team principal Craig Pollock started the outfit called Propulsion Universelle et Recuperation d'Energie a few months ago with the aim of joining Cosworth, Renault, Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari as F1 engine suppliers. The firm got what it believed would be a head start by beginning development of its new turbo four earlier than the existing suppliers could. The change in direction must have thrown a wrench in the proverbial works over at PURE's headquarters in France, but its latest hire might help it get back on track.

The hire in question is Gilles Simon, well known in the racing world as a certified guru when it comes to motorsport powertrains. He was the brains behind the engine that powered Peugeot's Le Mans program in the early 90s, then followed Jean Todt to Ferrari to run its racing engine program, and joined Todt again in 2009 as an FIA propulsion consultant.

Now that he's leaving the FIA to join PURE, however, the other engine manufacturers have raised some concerns. Namely, that in his capacity with the motorsport governing body, he was privy to each supplier's engine specifications, information he could potentially take with him to their new competitor. Looks like someone's gonna have some explaining to do.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      QAZZY
      • 3 Years Ago
      Turbo four? I think we need to make that twelve, just to piss off Dan Fredrickson.
      fvanderson
      • 3 Years Ago
      I agree that leaving a regulatory function to join in working for a group he previously regulated stinks. It is not a matter of secrecy of the regulations, which should be open and available. It is a matter of the perception that he has influence with the former co-workers or may be getting a reward for previously favorable treatment. I have seen US Government agents retire and go to work with their regulatory subjects; and it was dirty all the way. I believe FIA is non-governmental, therefore governed by contracts and rules of its governing board. The governing board should act promptly to address this "appearance of impropriety".
      Autoblogist
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sounds like the American government. Politician leaves the government and gets hired in same industry he/she regulated.
      Nowuries
      • 3 Years Ago
      I agree with SloopJohn--there should be an ethics agreement that bars any company from hiring this guy for years after his departure from FIA. As for Matt's comment about an NDA and suing, sure, that could happen, but it wouldn't be resolved in our crappy court systems for years. Still, in today's corporate world, industrial espionage is the name of the game... look at the great advantage Ferrari is experiencing in F1 now that they brought their technical director over from their competitor (and they are amazing at R&D too)...
      • 3 Years Ago
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      • 3 Years Ago
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      • 3 Years Ago
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      Matt Off White
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well I hope the FIA was smart enough to have an NDA about any specs he would know. If he starts giving that info to pure then they can sue his ass for breach of contract and pure will have to start from scratch. Just because he has a new job doesn't mean he is free of ethics, although it seems like a lot of people in F1 are......
      • 3 Years Ago
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      SloopJohnB
      • 3 Years Ago
      He should be barred from working for any one competitor for several years after he quits FIA or until their engine specifications change.