Budget cap architect Purnell leaves FIA

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine


Tony Purnell, who helped devise Max Mosley’s controversial budget cap plan, has left the FIA.

Formerly a team principal at Jaguar, Purnell joined the FIA in 2006. Together with fellow technical consultant Peter Wright, Purnell was also involved in introducing 2009’s radical aerodynamic changes designed to aid overtaking.

But the budget cap proposal proved more controversial. The teams objected to the plan and threatened to leave the sport if budget caps were introduced.

They backed down after the budget cap plan was replaced an agreement to restrict their resources and Mosley agreed not to stand in the 2009 FIA president election.

An FIA spokesperson said:

Tony Purnell is no longer working with us as a consultant and we wish him well for the future.

We are currently focusing on developing and strengthening our in-house expertise and in this regard Bernard Niclot, former Research and Development Manager at PSA Peugeot Citro??n, has been appointed as a senior Technical Adviser and Gilles Simon, former head of the Engine and Electronics department for the Ferrari Formula One team, has been appointed to a new FIA position as Director of Powertrain and Electronics.

The departure of a key figure from the Mosley presidency suggests his successor Jean Todt is less interested in resurrecting the budget caps proposal.

Niclot and Simon both worked at Ferrari during Todt’s time with the team.

Niclot’s role will be to provide advice and guidance on technical issues in motor racing and in the wider automotive world, particularly on matters concerning safety, the environment and consumer matters. He will begin working for the FIA on February 1st.

Update: And Alan Donnelly’s gone too.