Pointedly, on the day that Flavio Briatore nervously awaits his fate, Eric Boullier has finally been officially confirmed as the new team principal at Renault F1 for the 2010 world championship campaign, as the Enstone-based outfit heads into a brave new era in the wake of 2009's 'Singapore-gate' race-fixing scandal that very nearly saw it banned from the top flight for life.
With disgraced former managing director Briatore and erstwhile executive director of engineering Pat Symonds long gone, Bob Bell has filled the role of acting team principal in the interim period until a full-time replacement was found.
Boullier's name entered the frame following the 75 per cent sale of the team to Genii Capital, due to his close relationship with the Luxembourg-based investment firm's founder Gérard Lopez, who previously appointed the Frenchman at the helm of the Gravity Sport Management company that he similarly owns.
From an engineering background, Boullier joins Renault with a wealth of motorsport experience behind him. Having started out as a race engineer ten years ago, he joined front-running GP2 Series (and formerly International F3000) operation DAMS as managing director in 2003, leading the squad to a number of on-track successes, including the 2008/09 Asia Series crown. The 36-year-old also held the position of team principal at the victorious A1 Team France in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport between 2007 and 2009.
“I am incredibly proud to be joining the Renault F1 Team as team principal,” he enthused. “Renault is one of the most famous and successful names in motorsport, and I look forward to leading the team into the new season. In the past Renault has demonstrated that it is one of the top teams in Formula 1, and I am sure that with hard work and determination, we can challenge at the front once again.”