Laurent Mekies, Yas Marina, 2017

Ferrari hires FIA’s deputy race director Mekies

2018 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

Ferrari has announced the FIA’s Laurent Mekies will join its technical team. Mekies will begin work for them on September 20th and report to technical director Mattia Binotto.

The FIA confirmed Mekies will “immediately cease all Formula One duties and will no longer be involved in any Formula One matter, stepping down from his role as deputy F1 race director with immediate effect.”

Mekies has been the FIA’s safety director since 2014 and took over from Herbie Blash as the FIA’s deputy race director in 2016.

He arrived in Formula One with Arrows in 2001 and joined Minardi the following year. In 2006 Minardi became Toro Rosso and Mekies remained at the team serving as its chief engineer and, later, head of vehicle performance.

In his role as safety director Mekies oversaw the introduction of the Halo head protection device to Formula One and Formula Two this year.

Last year Renault attracted controversy when it hired Marcin Budkowski, who had been the FIA’s technical delegate. Budkowski’s FIA role gave him access to privileged information about each team’s car. Ferrari’s hiring of Mekies differs significantly in that Mekies did not have access to the same kind of information.

Last week the FIA confirmed the appointment of former Ferrari chief designer Nikolas Tombazis.

Go ad-free for just £1 per month

>> Find out more and sign up

2018 F1 season

Browse all 2018 F1 season articles

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.

Posted on Categories 2018 F1 seasonTags , ,

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 5 comments on “Ferrari hires FIA’s deputy race director Mekies”

    1. Yet we don’t know what role will Mekiès have in Ferrari’s technical team.

      Point is, will there be more teams hiring FIA staff?

      1. @jeff1s he has been connected with the safety aspect of the formula, maybe they are hiring him in order to make their crash structures more efficient? Reducing weight, shape optimisation, better integration of the safety elements? He has a background in Mechanical and Automotive Engineering as well.

        This is off course pure speculation, and I guess Ferrari hiring him is more newsworthy simply because he leaves FIA as did Budkowski.

        1. Apparently there’s no IP leakage involved with this hiring. I wonder why would Ferrari hire Mekies, I guess what you are saying makes sense. I just wonder whether there’s more or actually Mekies and Binotto are just buddies.

          1. @peartree – if you have a look at his CV I think Mekies has done a fair bit in his time, was pretty high up in Toro Rosso from memory and still very young. Add a few years with FIA and they must see good value in him. It still does seem a little like the umpire joining one of the playing teams!

            So is Herbie Blash making a come back from Superbikes??

      2. The FIA has said it would be illegal to prevent it, so I would assume this sort of thing will become semi-regular from now on (the FIA, being a voluntary association, cannot outbid the manufacturers without endangering other parts of its mission).

    Comments are closed.