Former Red Bull chief Pete Machin is set to join Renault as head of aerodynamics but won't begin his new post until July, the French manufacturer has confirmed.
Machin, who initially joined the Milton Keynes-based squad under its former Jaguar guise in 2002 from Arrows, played a key role in Red Bull's wind tunnel development of its Renault-powered championship winning cars during its domination of F1 between 2010-2013.
Machin will become head of aerodynamics at Renault Sport F1 at Enstone as of the 3rd July, with Jon Tomlinson becoming deputy head of aerodynamics. The British engineer joins an impressive technical squad Renault is forming with Nick Chester and Ciaron Pilbeam already signed up under the management of Bob Bell.
“It is clear that Renault Sport is serious about mounting a fresh challenge within F1 and I am happy to join the team,” Machin said. “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.”
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Machin also sees his switch at the start of the new F1 technical regulations, with the freedom on aerodynamic packages, as a key point Renault can exploit to launch itself up the F1 grid.
“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,” he said. “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."
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Renault's managing director Cyril Abiteboul has welcomed Machin to Enstone as is confident his influence can boost the team's plans for future developments in F1.
“We are very pleased to welcome Pete Machin to Enstone,” Abiteboul said. “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.”
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