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Renault Continues Developing For 2017

The significant changes continued at Renault Sport Racing, with more announcements from the team. Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director of Renault Sport Racing, confirmed more personnel adjustments in hopes of moving up on the Formula One grid in 2017.

The winter of 2016 and start of 2017 is the first period in which Renault have calmness in developing their car after a rush to get onto the Formula One grid in time for last season’s Australian Grand Prix having bought the Lotus team.


Abiteboul confirmed the appointments of Rob White as operations director and Ciaron Pilbeam as the chief race engineer.

White has worked with the manufacturer for over a decade since joining in 2004, while Pilbeam rejoins the team that he worked with in the past.

Pilbeam worked at McLaren since 2014 as chief race engineer, the same position he held with Lotus at Enstone between 2013 and 2014. His voice is probably best known from being race engineer at Red Bull for Christian Klien, Robert Doornbos and Mark Webber from 2006 to 2012.

He was also employed as assistant race engineer for Jacques Villeneuve and Takuma Sato and then race engineer at BAR Honda between 1998 and 2005.

Abiteboul said that signing new people to work for the team was crucial in their quest to catch up on the front-running teams in the sport.

“Expansion is not the work of a moment so we’ve been recruiting people through the year and they have been joining us throughout the season,” Abiteboul said.

“It’s definitely a case of targeting a quality workforce to come join us, but we do require a significant quantity of personnel in Enstone as we grow to a level allowing us to fight against the top teams.”


Abiteboul also confirmed the team would have access to new areas around their Enstone base.

“In terms of facilities, we are significantly increasing our on-site CNC machining capacity with two new machines in a dedicated building, a new spray and preparation facility is currently being built and we will shortly start extending our main factory building by approximately 800 meters squared to house the expansion of almost every department at Enstone.”

The new season of racing also sees Renault supply three teams for the first time since 2014, with their Viry base developing power units for their primary team, Red Bull (badged as TAG Heuer) and Toro Rosso (a team who also could badge their engines).

He described the changes that have taken place to gather their resources together to work more efficiently.

“At Viry-Chatillon we’ve been working on the structure with a process of further evolution to the changes started in the recent past. This has meant adapting the structure to change from a power unit supplier to part of a full manufacturer entry in addition to continuing as a supplier to other parties, as well as targeted headcount expansion for better control of our skills and talents.”


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By Cameron Paterson

Cameron Paterson has been a watcher of Formula 1 since 2007, a casual television watch evolved to watching and reading anything related to something with wheels and an engine. A fan of writing, it was a no-brainer about what to do to try and get into motorsport, consistently discussing things about this great sport since 2016.