Renault has announced a strengthening of its aerodynamics department, hiring former Williams head of aerodynamics Dirk de Beer to replace Peter Machin.
Machin leaves the team by mutual consent with immediate effect, as de Beer returns to the team as his replacement. Most recently at Williams until 2018, de Beer previously worked for Renault and Lotus before moving to Ferrari alongside James Allison, but will now lead the aero department at Enstone alongside a deputy “who will join in the course of next year from another team.” Vince Todd takes on the role on an interim basis until then, while James Rogers is named chief aerodynamicist.
Renault says the changes are designed “to strengthen its organization for the challenge and opportunity offered by the 2021 regulations,” (rendering pictured above) in with managing director Cyril Abiteboul adding the restructuring follows investment elsewhere.
“In 2019 we have shown some strengths, but identified areas that needed reinforcement,” Abiteboul said. “After a rapid growth of our aerodynamic department and a modernization 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 Budkowsk says hiring experience was key due to the size of the team’s aerodynamics department.
“We are delighted to welcome Dirk as head of aerodynamics,” Budkowski said. “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.”