The Lotus F1 team has confirmed that deputy technical director Naoki Tokunaga is to leave the team to become technical director of Renault Sport F1's New Generation Power Unit.
Tokunaga joined the former Renault F1 team in 2000 as a vehicle dynamics engineer, being promoted to head of control systems in 2002 before being named technical director in 2010.
Having played a big role in the design of the new E20, Tokunaga will start his new role with the full blessing of the Lotus team.
“While we are sad on a personal level to see Naoki leave Enstone, we believe this move will be overall positive for Renault Sport F1's customers,” Lotus technical director James Allison said. “We would like to thank Naoki for the tremendous contribution he has made to our team during the 12 years he has been with us and we look forward to the performance he will bring us (and all of Renault Sport F1's client teams) in his new role.”
The role of deputy technical director will remain open for the foreseeable future.