Former Honda Formula 1 engine consultant Gilles Simon has joined the FIA as Head of Technical.
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Simon’s appointment is one of a number of changes the FIA has made to its technical division. A new department responsible for all the governing body’s single-seater championships is being created.
Simon was previously the FIA’s technical and powertrain director in 2010. He had earlier been employed at Renault, Peugeot and Ferrari. More recently Simon has been working for Honda, from 2015 up to the start of the 2017 season.
His involvement initially helped steady the ship and smooth relations with McLaren. However when the new 2017 power unit failed to live up to expectations, Simon decided to leave the Japanese manufacturer.
In his new position, Simon will evaluate new technical solutions with the aim of developing the Federation’s line-up of championships.
“Reporting to the Secretary General for Sport, Gilles Simon will be acting as FIA Technical Director,” the governing body said in a statement.
“As such, he will contribute to the development of the FIA championships, proposing ambitious and pragmatic technical solutions in line with the FIA’s strategic and sporting vision for its championships.
“To that end, he will work in close cooperation with the FIA departments responsible for the global management of the championships, as well as with the safety department.”
The FIA is creating a new department focussed on single-seater competition comprising F1, F2, F3 and F4. The head of the department will be Charlie Whiting, better known as the race director at Formula 1 events.
Whiting’s brief is to “strengthen the links between the grassroots levels and the top of the pyramid,” said the governing body.
Whiting has also been instructed to “optimise the processes and the synergies of these championships; and benefit from the increased integration of the F1 Department within the FIA.”
The new structure will see the redistribution of responsibilities for sporting and technical matters. Sporting and championship management will be in the hands of Laurent Mekies, while Marcin Budkowski will be in charge of technical side.
The former head of the Single-Seater Commission, Frederic Bertrand, will be taking responsibility for Formula E, WEC, and WTCC.
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