Ex-Williams aero chief De Beer joins Renault

Mark Scott


Renault are making some early moves within their aerodynamic department after being left encouraged by Formula 1’s big 2021 reveal.

The shake-up sees Peter Machin leave his role as head of aerodynamics with immediate effect and replaced by Williams’ former aero chief, Dirk de Beer, who left Williams in 2018 after joining from Ferrari.

De Beer also worked with Enstone from Renault 2008 up until the Lotus days of 2013.

He will be joined by a deputy head of aerodynamics, but this particular mystery person will be joining from another team next year. In the meantime, Vince Todd takes the role on an interim basis.

James Rodgers has been promoted to a new position of chief aerodynamicist, who is responsible for aerodynamic performance development.

“In 2019 we have shown some strengths, but identified areas that needed reinforcement,” said Renault team boss, Cyril Abiteboul.

“After a rapid growth of our aerodynamic department and a modernisation 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, executive director, added: “We are delighted to welcome Dirk as Head of Aerodynamics. 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.”

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