Key Personnel within Renault F1 Team

Key Personnel within Renault F1 Team

12.02.2020: Bob Bell, Technical Advisor Bob currently works as a Technical Advisor to the Team, participating in strategic projects to support the team’s long-term growth and development. After graduating with a PhD in Aeronautical Engineering from Queen’s Unive


Bob Bell, Technical Advisor

Bob currently works as a Technical Advisor to the Team, participating in strategic projects to support the team’s long-term growth and development. After graduating with a PhD in Aeronautical Engineering from Queen’s University, Belfast, Bob was initially employed as an Aerodynamicist at McLaren in 1982, eventually working on both F1 and non-F1 projects as Head of R&D, until joining Benetton in 1998 as a Senior Aerodynamicist.

A stint at Jordan followed, but Bob returned to Enstone in 2001, first as Deputy Technical Director and later Technical Director, playing an instrumental role in Renault’s double world championship winning years. Bob became Team Principal in 2009 and Managing Director in 2010 before leaving in 2011 to join Mercedes as their Technical Director. He departed at the end of the successful 2014 season to work as a private consultant, notably working for Renault on the preparations to return as a full works team. He subsequently joined the team in 2016 as the Chief Technical Officer.

Alan Permane, Sporting Director

Alan has worked at Enstone in a number of roles. Currently Sporting Director, he first worked as an Electronics Engineer for Benetton, contributing to Michael Schumacher’s first world championship victory in 1994. Alan then worked with Jean Alesi in 1996 and 1997 and later as Race Engineer to Giancarlo Fisichella.

By 2002, Alan engineered Jarno Trulli and again Fisichella in 2005 and 2006 across the two-world championship winning years. Alan then became Chief Race Engineer for Renault F1 Team and Lotus Renault GP between 2007 and 2011. In 2012, he became Trackside Operations Director for Lotus F1 Team until Renault’s return in 2016.

Ciaron Pilbeam, Chief Race Engineer

Ciaron is Chief Race Engineer for Renault F1 Team and has worked in Formula 1 since 1998. He first started at British American Racing working in Vehicle Dynamics. A year later, Ciaron worked closely with Jock Clear as Assistant Race Engineer to 1997 Formula 1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve. Ciaron continued working with BAR as Race Engineer to Takuma Sato before moving to Red Bull Racing in 2006 with Christian Klien.

In 2007, Ciaron took on the role as Mark Webber’s Race Engineer, keeping that position for six years. He assisted nine race wins for the Australian and contributed to three world championship titles. Ciaron then joined Lotus F1 Team as Chief Race Engineer in 2013 and then McLaren in an identical role. By 2017, Ciaron returned to Enstone as Renault F1 Team’s Chief Race Engineer, working closely with Alan Permane and the engineering team.

Nico Cuturello, Trackside Operations Manager

Nico has worked for Renault Sport Racing since 2012 and now occupies a trackside role overseeing all Renault power units, including its customer McLaren. Nico’s first position with Renault was as a Test Engineer, working on the V6 project aimed at the 2014 engine regulation changes.

 During that season Nico began working trackside as Power Unit Performance Engineer with customer team Toro Rosso. In 2015 he continued working as Max Verstappen’s power unit engineer. Nico then worked for the manufacturer Renault entry with Kevin Magnussen and later Nico Hülkenberg. Nico continued his role in 2019, while also managing Viry’s trackside team, before changing his position to oversee all Renault power units at all races.

Matthieu Dubois, Head of Race Strategy

Matthieu is the team’s Head of Race Strategy and has worked for Renault in Formula 1 for over 20 years. Matthieu finalised his studies in 1997 in Mechanical Engineering from Ecole Centrale, Nantes, and worked as an Engineer with Stena Offshore Limited for his first job. In 1998, Matthieu joined Renault in Formula 1 as a Dyno Engineer and then as a trackside Test Engineer.

Between 2003 and 2006, Matthieu worked as Chief Test Engineer for the engine and continued in a trackside testing role until 2007. Matthieu then switched focus to strategy working as a Strategy Engineer between 2008 and 2012. He then returned into a power unit specific role from 2013, working as Trackside Operations Manager for all power units between 2015 and 2017. In 2018, Matthieu took on his current role heading the team’s race strategy.

Karel Loos, Race Engineer (Daniel Ricciardo)

Karel works as Race Engineer to Daniel Ricciardo having previously engineered Carlos Sainz and Jolyon Palmer between 2017 and 2018. Karel studied for five years in various engineering colleges in his native Belgium, completing his education with a Masters in Motorsport Engineering and Management from Cranfield University.

Karel first worked in motorsport in 2009 as a Data Engineer with PK Carsport in FIA GT – alongside his studies at Cranfield – and then in the same championship as a Race Engineer with SRT. A move to Formula 1 followed in 2011 as a Vehicle Performance Engineer with Lotus F1 Team. Karel remained at Enstone in a number of trackside-based roles before becoming Race Engineer to Palmer in 2016, Sainz in the same year and Ricciardo since his arrival at Renault.

Mark Slade, Race Engineer (Esteban Ocon)

Mark has a long and successful career in Formula 1 and has engineered no less than four world champions. Mark is currently Race Engineer for Esteban Ocon. He graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Heriot-Watt University and from 1989 worked as a Design Engineer for Reynard Racing Cars and later Ralt Racing, before joining McLaren in 1991. Mark took up a trackside role with McLaren in 1994 as Assistant Race Engineer to Martin Brundle.

 He then became Race Engineer to Mika Hakkinen in 1998, aiding the Finnish driver’s two world titles and remained at McLaren until 2010, working with Kimi Räikkönen, Fernando Alonso and Heikki Kovalainen across that time. Mark moved to Enstone in 2010 to work with Vitaly Petrov and a year later switched to Mercedes to engineer Michael Schumacher.

A move back to Enstone followed in 2012, engineering Räikkönen for two years and later Pastor Maldonado. Mark took on the role as Chief Engineer in 2016, before working with Hülkenberg from 2017 to 2019 and now with Esteban.

Rob Cherry, Chief Mechanic

Rob is Chief Mechanic and has occupied the role since 2016. His first involvement in motorsport mechanics came in 2004 when he worked for Arden International. Rob moved to Formula 1 in 2006 with Renault as a rear end mechanic on the Test Team. By 2008, Rob was number one mechanic on the Test Team and in 2009 stepped up to the Race Team in a similar position, remaining at Enstone across its different guises until 2016 when he became Chief Mechanic.

Rob White, Operations Director

After working in a range of positions across Renault’s Formula 1 involvement, Rob is now Chief Operations Director, predominantly overseeing the development of its infrastructure at Enstone. Rob has vast experience in Formula 1, with a speciality in engine production. His career began with engine manufacturer Cosworth, firstly on IndyCar engines – boasting a number of race wins and championship victories – and later in Formula 1 as a Chief Engineer.

Rob joined Renault F1 Team in 2004 as Engine Technical Director before taking on the role as Deputy Managing Director a year later. He played a leading role in Renault’s most successful period in Formula 1 with championship titles in 2005 and 2006 and later four consecutive titles with Red Bull Racing from 2010 to 2013 under V8 power.

Matthew Harman, Engineering Director

Matthew joined Renault F1 Team in September 2018 as Deputy Chief Designer. He signed with over 18 years of experience in powertrain design and implementation and now works closely with Enstone and Viry’s design teams to develop future concepts. Matthew’s first taste for engineering began at Ricardo, an automotive business specialising in a range of market sectors including passenger car, commercial vehicles, rail and clean energy.

He then moved to Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains as Engineering Team Leader – remaining in that position for 11 years - before becoming Head of Powertrain Integration and Transmission Design for Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team between 2011 and 2018.

Dirk de Beer, Head of Aerodynamics

Dirk re-joined Renault F1 Team as Head of Aerodynamics in 2019 having previously worked for the team between 2007 - 2010. Dirk’s first exposure to Formula 1 was in his home country, South Africa, when he watched some races as a child. With an interest in the technicalities presented by Formula 1, Dirk studied aeronautics at Imperial College London before working for Swift Engineering in the US.

He then moved to Europe to work with Sauber F1 Team, eventually working as Principal Aerodynamicist. Sauber then became BMW and Dirk switched for his first stint at Renault in 2007 as Head of Aerodynamics, remaining in the role through Lotus’s takeover at Enstone until 2013. Since then, he has worked for Ferrari and Williams, before returning to Enstone late in 2019 ahead of the 2020 season.

Pierre Genon, Head of Performance Systems

Pierre is currently Head of Performance Systems working closely with the Design Office, Aerodynamics, Transmission, Viry and the Race Team to improve the overall performance of the car. After graduating from the University of Liege in Mechanical Engineering and later Aeronautical Engineering at Cranfield, Pierre began working with AP Racing in Coventry. A move to rallying followed and Pierre joined Subaru World Rally Team, working with Colin McRae, Richard Burns, Tommi Mäkinen and later Petter Solberg.

 He became Chief Rally Engineer in 2002 and progressed Solberg to his world title in 2003. Pierre made a switch to Endurance Racing with Peugeot in 2009, contributing to the Le Mans 24 Hours win the same year. Pierre then joined Lotus F1 Team before taking up his current role with Renault when the team announced its Formula 1 comeback

- Renault -


12.02.2020 / MaP

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