A portrait of Olivier Beaucourt, quality control and metrology manager at Viry-ChÃ¢tillon... A young guy with a passion! Q:What job did you do before arriving at Renault? Olivier Beaucourt: Before joining the team, I was an engine engineer for...
A portrait of Olivier Beaucourt, quality control and metrology manager at Viry-Châtillon... A young guy with a passion!
Q:What job did you do before arriving at Renault?
Olivier Beaucourt: Before joining the team, I was an engine engineer for the automotive supplier Siemens. I was responsible for fine-tuning electronic engine management systems. Then I joined the Supertec group, which was my first real contact with the world of F1.
Q: How long have you been working in F1?
OB: Just over five years now.
Q: What are your current responsibilities?
OB: In terms of my job, I wear two different hats. Firstly, I am in charge of quality control for the parts produced by our various suppliers. I ensure that the parts meet our standards, and the initial specifications. The second part of my job consists in the precise measurement of components to assist in engine development. That's called metrology.
Q: What does your job involve day-to-day?
OB: In terms of quality control of parts, I basically have to ensure that the parts conform strictly to all our needs and demands. In one sense, my job is a kind of filtration: I must only let through what is 'healthy' for the engine.
Then, on the metrology side, I have to measure the geometry of components extremely precisely prior to testing and the afterwards, in order to compare the results which are then sent to the Design Office, the reliability department and other relevant individuals.
Q: What training or experience does your job demand?
OB: First and foremost, you need to know the engine inside out, and understand it. Previously, I was a race engineer, which means I have experience from the track. Then I joined the reliability department. This career path means I have a good understanding of the ultimate goal of my work (withstanding the demands of a race), as well as the internals of the engine. It is crucial to have that experience for this job.
Q: What personal skills and qualities does the job draw on?
OB: Adaptability and the ability to summarise. I sit at the intersection of a number of specialist areas (purchasing, quality, logistics and technical) and I have contact with lots of people, and information comes from many sources: I have to get everything in order to better coordinate the work of my team.
You also need a good knowledge of the demands of an F1 engine. As every part for the engine must come through my hands, I have to know what all of them are. This knowledge allows me to understand the needs of my colleagues and, if possible, to anticipate and better answer their requests.
Q: What do you like most about this job?
OB: The multidisciplinary element: I am involved in both the technical and logistics sides. I also enjoy contributing to finding new solutions to problems, understanding and resolving technical difficulties.
Q: And what do you like least?
OB: The frustrating impression that you can never do enough...
Q: What was your most memorable moment with the team?
OB: The victory in Hungary last August: I was lucky enough to be in the pits that day, and the atmosphere was incredible!