Renault restructure aerodynamics department
As teams continue their preparations for the introduction of revolutionary new rules for 2021, Renault have announced a string of changes to their aerodynamics department that sees Dirk de Beer return to the Enstone-based squad…
De Beer spent five years at Renault/Lotus from 2008, before completing stints at Ferrari and most recently Williams, where he was Head of Aerodynamics for just over a year from February 2017.
That’s the role he’ll take up when he re-joins Renault – who have been on a recruitment drive in recent years as well as heavily updating and increasing the capacity of their factory - ahead of 2020, replacing Peter Machin who “is leaving the team by mutual agreement with immediate effect”.
A Deputy Head of Aerodynamics, the identity of whom the team have chosen not to reveal, will join Renault “in the course of next year from another team”. In the interim, Vince Todd will cover the role.
Elsewhere, Renault's Principal Aerodynamicist James Rodgers, who is in charge of future car projects, has been promoted to Chief Aerodynamicist, responsible for aerodynamic performance development.
These changes are the next step in the restructuring of Renault F1 Team’s Chassis operation in Enstone and I am confident that they will allow us to resume our progress towards the front of the grid
“In 2019 we have shown some strengths, but identified areas that needed reinforcement,” said Renault chief Cyril Abiteboul. “After a rapid growth of our aerodynamic department and a modernisation of our equipment, the strengthening of the management layer of this key department will help us reap the benefits of our investments.
“This is particularly relevant as we enter a very important year in our midterm plan with the 2021 aerodynamic regulations now confirmed.”
Executive Director Marcin Budkowski added: “We are delighted to welcome Dirk as Head of Aerodynamics. His proven technical and management skills make him the perfect profile to lead such a large and complex department.
“James has demonstrated a strong ability to generate performance and this new role will enable him to steer the aerodynamic development of all our car projects.
“These changes are the next step in the restructuring of Renault F1 Team’s Chassis operation in Enstone and I am confident that they will allow us to resume our progress towards the front of the grid.”
Renault are currently fifth in the constructors’ championship on 73 points, 38 adrift of McLaren and just nine clear of Toro Rosso and Racing Point.