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Renault recruits Red Bull F1 aerodynamicist to head up department

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Renault recruits Red Bull F1 aerodynamicist to head up department
Feb 14, 2017, 1:02 PM

Former Red Bull designer Pete Machin will join the Renault Formula 1 team as its head of aerodynamics, it was announced today.

Former Red Bull designer Pete Machin will join the Renault Formula 1 team as its head of aerodynamics, it was announced today.

Machin, who has worked for the Milton Keynes-based Red Bull squad since it was formerly the Jaguar Racing team; will start working for Renault on 3 July. The Enstone-based team’s previous head of aero, Jon Tomlinson, will become the department’s deputy and will report to Machin.

Speaking as the news was announced, Machin, who was a senior CFD engineer at the Arrows F1 team between 1997 and 2002, described his pleasure at taking up his position with Renault, which comes alongside F1’s new aero rules that will lead to the cars producing significantly greater levels of downforce.

Renault

He said: “It is clear that Renault Sport is serious about mounting a fresh challenge within F1 and I am happy to join the team. Bob Bell headed-up the technical team when Renault last won world championships as a constructor, so I’m very much looking forward to working with him in my new role with that same achievement as the target.

“I have previously worked closely with both Nick Chester and Ciaron Pilbeam too, so I have good familiarity with some key personnel as well as the aspirations.

“The technical regulation changes for 2017 are the first significant change in four years and will allow F1 cars to achieve greater downforce than at any other time in the history of the sport, so it’s a very exciting time to be taking charge of aero development at Renault Sport Racing and I am confident in getting the team back to the sharp end of the grid."

Cyril Abiteboul, the managing director of Renault Sport Racing, described Machin’s appointment as a “particular highlight” of the recruitment drive the team has been working on since being re-bought by the French manufacturer at the end of 2015.

Cyril Abiteboul

He said: “We are very pleased to welcome Pete Machin to Enstone. Aerodynamics are obviously a hugely important element of the performance equation so to enlist Pete is a particular highlight of our recent recruitment programme.

“The latest generation of regulations are, if anything, more aero-crucial than before so to have Pete join us at such a time of exciting evolution will be of the greatest benefit. Pete will fit into our existing structure and we expect to see the fruits of his labours come on stream later in the year. This announcement is tremendously exciting for everyone at Renault Sport Racing.”

Renault’s high-profile return to F1 at the start of the 2016 season did not translate into instant success and the team finished ninth in the constructors’ championship with eight points coming courtesy of Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer.

Kevin Magnussen

But Renault was always acknowledged that 2016 would be focused on rebuilding the team after it faced severe financial difficulties during its final year as Lotus in 2015. Those difficulties meant the last Lotus car was left undeveloped and the team spent last year struggling to get the RS16 out of Q1 at many races.

The team’s chief technical officer Bob Bell explained last summer that its recruitment programme was “going well” after an increase in investment from Renault, and Machin’s appointment is the next step in that evolution.

Another team making new aero appointments is Williams, which is reportedly set to sign former Renault, Lotus and Ferrari aerodynamicist Dirk de Beer to a senior position.

https://twitter.com/RenaultSportF1/status/817419644973805568

Renault will run Palmer for a second successive year and has hired former Williams, Force India and Sauber driver Nico Hulkenberg to complete its line-up for 2017. Its new challenger, the RS17, will be unveiled on 21 February.

What do you make of the news that Renault has hired Machin? Do you expect the team to produce better results in 2017? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JA on F1 Facebook page for more discussion.
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Series Formula 1
Drivers Nico Hulkenberg Shop Now , Kevin Magnussen