F1 teams unhappy over key FIA technical chief links to Renault

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Officials from a number of Formula 1 teams have made no secret of their frustration after reports emerged in Malaysia that FIA technical chief Marcin Budkowski could be set to join Renault.

Budkowski has been the main point of contact for teams with technical queries in F1 as the FIA’s technical chief, but handed in his resignation earlier this week.

The FIA immediately placed Budkowski on gardening leave for three months, but reports from multiple outlets on Friday claimed he is poised to join Renault’s works team.

Given Budkowski has been privy to intimate technical details regarding car design details for all teams, concerns have been raised by many about the knowledge he would take to Renault and its possible usage.

“We take major issue with that if he does end up with another team,” Red Bull F1 chief Christian Horner said.

“Obviously in these individuals you place an enormous amount of trust. In the role that Marcin has been responsible for he has been in an extremely privileged position and extremely recently he has been in people’s wind tunnels and looking at intimate details of knowledge of next year’s cars.

“I think three months’ notice period for him to then turn up in a competitor team in Formula One is entirely inappropriate. I certainly hope that isn’t the case and I’m sure it will get discussed quite seriously at the next strategy group meeting.”

Force India commercial chief Otmar Szafnauer took issue to the short gardening leave period, believing it to go against the usual year-long stint on the sidelines for most in F1.

“I think three months is nowhere near long enough. I think a year [is right],” Szafnauer said.

“I mean, it has to be long enough such that the technology that he is aware of becomes, if not obsolete, then not leading edge. There are some sporting regulations as well that prohibit us from selling current-year cars for exactly the same reason.

“The cars have to be at least one year before we can dispose of them and it’s for that reason and I think notice periods should follow along the same lines.”

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff added: “But we need to look at the timings, we need to be transparent with the FIA and give them access.

“In order to have the full trust of the teams, it’s important to have a certain stability and understanding how quick somebody can leave the FIA and join another competitive team.”

Renault is yet to make any comment regarding Budkowski or his arrival at the team.

Peacock to stream all Supercross and Motocross races in 2023, plus inaugural SuperMotocross Championship

Peacock Supercross Motocross 2023
Feld Entertainment, Inc.
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NBC Sports and Feld Motor Sports announced that Peacock and the NBC family of networks will stream all 31 races of the combined Monster Energy Supercross, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross and the newly created SuperMotocross World Championship beginning January 7, 2023 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California and ending October 14 in the place where Supercross was born: the Los Angeles Coliseum.

The combined series will create a 10-month calendar of events, making it one of the longest professional sports’ seasons in the United States.

The agreement is for multiple years. The season finale will air live on Peacock and the USA Network.

Peacock will present live coverage of all races, qualifying and heats across both series. The 31 total races will mark a record for the combined number of Supercross and Pro Motocross events that NBC Sports will present in a single season.

NBC, USA Network and CNBC will provide coverage of all races, including the SuperMotocross World Championship Playoffs and Final, through 2023 and beyond. For more information about the Peacock streaming service, click here.

“With our wide array of live and original motorsports offerings, Peacock is a natural home for Supercross and Pro Motocross races,” said Rick Cordella, Chief Commercial Officer, Peacock. “We’re looking forward to providing fans with an easily-accessible destination to find every race all season long, including the exciting finish with the newly formed SuperMotocross World Championship.”

MORE: A conversation about media rights created the new SuperMotocross World Championship Series

The NBC family of networks has been home to Supercross for the past several seasons and this is a continuation of that relationship. The media rights for both series expired at the end of 2022, which allowed Supercross and Motocross to combine their efforts.

In fact, it was that conversation that led to the formation of the SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX).

The SMX series will begin on September 9, 2023 after the conclusion of the Pro Motocross season. Points will accumulate from both series to seed the SMX championship, which creates a record number of unified races.

“The SuperMotocross World Championship adds a new dimension to the annual Supercross and Pro Motocross seasons that will result in crowning the ultimate World Champion,” said Stephen C. Yaros, SVP Global Media and Supercross for Feld Motor Sports. “We are thrilled to be extending our relationship with NBC Sports so our fans can watch all the racing action streaming live on Peacock and the option to also watch select rounds on NBC, USA Network and CNBC.”

Complete 2023 coverage schedules for Supercross, Pro Motocross and the SuperMotocross World Championship on Peacock, NBC, USA Network and CNBC will be announced in the near future.