Budget cap architect Purnell leaves FIA

Posted on

| Written by

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.

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

19 comments on “Budget cap architect Purnell leaves FIA”

  1. I fear FIA is turning into new Ferrari home.

    1. When Max & Bernie began running the show, the FIA was turning into home for many of Bernie’s ex-personnel at Brabham.

  2. This is good news, the whole budget cap debacle nearly tore F1 apart. Costs need to be cut but bedget caps isn’t the way to go.

  3. Really good news.Cost can be cut down year by year not all at once.

  4. On the subject of budgets, I’ve just looked through an old Autosport special on the 1992 world championship. An interview with the Williams commercial department states that the team relies on approx. £20m of sponsorship income and this includes paying the drivers’ retainers of approx. £7m (the 7m includes both Patrese and Mansell’s salaries).

    Now, given how technologically advanced the FW14B was (traction control, active suspension etc.) how the hell have we reached the point where teams can spend upwards of £150m per season and GET NOWHERE (I’m looking at you, Honda, Renault, Toyota etc).

    The world has truly gone mad.

    1. Well, at least Renault won something, but you’re otherwise right.

    2. Inflation, more advanced and expensive technology.

      1. Inflation doesn’t explain a 1000% rise in costs, not in this time.
        The way the FIA has done it might have been wrong, but costs need to come down a lot in F1. It might look like they nearly tore the sport apart, but maybe they’ve saved it by bringing new teams on board.
        I think Toyota and BMW would have left anyway at the end of the season…and does anybody still think that the FOTA series would have happened???

    3. Inflation and rising marginal costs :)

      The cost to gain the advantage of the first 1 second is much lesser than the cost to gain the advantage of the second 1 second. Even more costlier is the third 1 second. In many cases, the increase in costs would be exponential.

      Whether this is a good move or not, only time will tell. I hope the successor has some concrete and agreeable plan to reduce costs.

      I don’t think Formula 1 has seen the last of budget caps.

  5. Now we have FRENCH Int Assoc!! all Todt cronies – possible all easily persuaded by Todt – as per Moseley game plan! Same s..t different day!

  6. “Mosley agreed not to stand in the 2010 FIA president election.”

    Surely you meant the 2009 FiA Presidential Election

    1. I did – fixed it, thanks.

  7. Surely the more significant news is that (according to Autosport) Alan Donnelly has been moved away from motor racing responsibilities as a part of a staffing reshuffle.

    Tony Purnell may have created the budget cap proposal but it was Max Mosley who used it as a threat to push down spending. Purnell is a reasonable bloke who did a decent job in difficult circumstances at Jaguar.

    1. I put this story up before Autosport did the story on Donnelly. I wasn’t aware Donnelly had also gone at the time, that’s why I added a bit on the bottom later when that story came out.

  8. Jraybay-Hamiltonmclarenfan
    22nd January 2010, 19:13

    More Ferrari staff hired?

  9. Glad Donnelly is gone. He won’t be missed.

  10. CounterStrike
    23rd January 2010, 8:27

    Ferrari guys infiltrating FIA just like the Illuminati, who infiltrated the US congress :(

  11. People should remember that it was the teams who proposed the budget cap to begin with.

    The first I remember to actively pursue the idea were Nick Fry and Ross Brawn at the end of 2007. Williams, Theissen and Horner were big fans of the idea too.

    Theissen was furious when the budget cap for 2009 didn’t go through. Honda apparently too since they withdrew from F1.

    So to now act like the FIA was responsible for the budget cap is a bit ridiculous.

    What they did get wrong was the proposed amounts. I forgot the exact amount, but the budget cap for 2009 was so high that Briatore complained that his current budget was lower than the supposed cap already.

    Then for 2010 they fixed that and set it so ridiculously low that it was impossible for the existing teams to deal with it.

    If they (Mosley et al) would have picked a reasonable amount then the budget cap would have just gone through without all the fuss.

    Besides we have a budget limit now anyway, but they call it a “resource limit”.

    BTW also the aero changes. They were proposed by the OWG which is filled with people from the teams. Mosley even distanced himself from this saying that this is what the teams wanted and if it didn’t work he would take matters back into his own hands.

  12. “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.” — Thinking back, I don’t recall what the ‘radical aerodynamic’ suggestions were? I wonder what they were…

Comments are closed.