Gilles Simon

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.