Mekies is the second high-profile FIA official to join a team over the past year. File photo: Youtube

Woking, Surrey - McLaren has taken issue with Ferrari and Formula One's governing body after Ferrari hired a top technical official from the FIA.

The International Automobile Federation and Ferrari announced on Wednesday that Laurent Mekies, the FIA's deputy race director and head of safety, was moving to Maranello in September.

Mekies is the second high-profile FIA official to join a team over the past year, with Marcin Budkowski moving to Renault after resigning in September as technical head.


That move triggered criticism from rival teams at the time who said it was unacceptable for somebody with access to secret information to begin employment with a competitor after such a short break.

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier told on Thursday."We are very unhappy with the FIA for losing yet another key employee to a racing team - especially after it was agreed by all teams at the last Strategy Group meeting that no key technical FIA employees would be employed by a race team within 12 months of leaving the FIA.

"Ferrari went against the gentleman's agreement, and the FIA has not enforced it."

McLaren, whose executive director Zak Brown is also non-executive chairman of the Motorsport Network that includes, confirmed Boullier's quotes were accurate. There was no immediate comment from Ferrari or the FIA.


The governing body said on Wednesday that Mekies had stepped down from his race director role and would immediately cease all Formula One duties. He will leave the Paris-based FIA at the end of June.

It is normal practice in Formula One for teams to put key employees on 'gardening leave' for a period after handing in their notice. The length of time varies, however, according to individual contracts and employment law.

The practicality of any such 'gentleman's agreement' between teams, in a fiercely competitive sport whose bosses used to be referred to as 'The Piranha Club', was questioned by some insiders.

Formula One journalist Joe Saward wrote: "One would have thought that after all these years F1 people would know that a gentlemen's agreement in F1 is as worthless as a chocolate fireguard."