Eric Boullier has been promoted from the post of team principal to managing director at Renault F1 with immediate effect, following the departure of interim stand-in Bob Bell.
Bell had filled the role since late last year, taking over from disgraced 'Singapore-gate' protagonist Flavio Briatore, but the Ulsterman was only ever intended to be a temporary occupant of the position. Boullier was appointed as team principal at the Enstone-based outfit on 5 January, 2010 – and his hard work in helping to turn around the fortunes of the ailing former double world champions has now been officially recognised.
“Since the beginning of the season, the Renault F1 Team has demonstrated its ability to react to a need for change,” the Frenchman commented. “The results of the tremendous efforts made have been immediately apparent on the racetrack. Today, we have a competitive car and an incredibly motivated team.
“I am proud of the trust being placed in me to continue this good work, and I will make every effort to ensure the Renault F1 Team returns to the front of the grid as soon as possible.”
Indeed, Boullier's calm, methodical approach – in stark contrast to the flamboyant Briatore's distinctly mercurial and frustratingly unpredictable manner at the helm – has been credited with playing a major part in transforming Renault from a team that had looked down-on-its-uppers at the end of the 2009 campaign, to one that is now arguably on the verge of winning races again for the first time in two years. Chairman Gérard Lopez explained that promotion for the 36-year-old was the obvious next step.
“We would like to thank Bob Bell for his contribution to the performance of the team and for helping to see us through a period of transition since Genii Capital became a shareholder in the Renault F1 Team,” affirmed the Luxembourg-based entrepreneur. “We are entrusting the post of managing director to Eric Boullier and we have every confidence that, under his leadership, we will achieve our racing objectives.
“Throughout the 2010 season, we have been assessing what is required to continue improving our level of competitiveness, and we believe we are well-positioned for the challenges ahead.”