By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief
Renault announced changes within their aerodynamic department with eyes already on the 2020 season.
The team reached a “mutually agreement” to part ways with immediate effect with Peter Machin, who previously served as the head of aerodynamics. In turn, Dirk de Beer, returns to the team and takes over the role after stops at Williams and Ferrari.
Additionally, Vince Todd will serve as the deputy head of aerodynamics on an interim basis for the remainder of 2019 with the permanent replacement for next season to be named later. The shakeup will also see James Rodgers, the principal aerodynamicist in charge of future car projects, promoted to a chief aerodynamicist, which holds responsibilities for aerodynamic performance development.
Cyril Abiteboul, team principal of Renault F1, expressed his thoughts on the changes as the team looks ahead to the new 2021 regulations.
“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.”
Marcin Budkowski, the team’s executive director, provided his support for the moves.
“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.”