Renault hire new head of aerodynamics from Red Bull

2017 F1 season

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Renault has recruited its new head of aerodynamics from rivals Red Bull.

Pete Machin, who worked on Red Bull’s world championship-winning cars as an aerodynamicist between 2010 and 2013, will join the team on July 3rd. Jon Tomlinson will become the team’s deputy head of aerodynamics.

“Aerodynamics are obviously a hugely important element of the performance equation so to enlist Pete is a particular highlight of our recent recruitment programme,” said managing director Cyril Abiteboul.

“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,” he added.

“Pete will fit into our existing structure and we expect to see the fruits of his labours come on stream later in the year.”

Machin said Renault is “serious about mounting a fresh challenge within F1”.

“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.”

Renault finished ninth in the championship last year with eight points in their first season back in Formula One as a full constructor. Red Bull, the only other team to use Renault engines last year, finished second with 468 points and won two races.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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25 comments on “Renault hire new head of aerodynamics from Red Bull”

  1. Excellent call.

  2. Not at all bad. This could definitely make a difference for 2018 when I expect Renault to begin challenging properly.

    1. …and wouldnt we all like to see that. the war of the front six and almost all the remainder of the cars in the mid field scrapping and fighting hell for leather for the points.

  3. Who?

    I’m sorry but their pretensions would call with someone with more seniority.

    1. “call for”

      1. @faulty Really? So the fact you’ve never heard of him, makes him unknown and unworthy of their pretensions? The very fact that he’s highly regarded by the F1 community(who know vastly more than you do, sorry to burst your bubble), to the point that Jon Tomlinson who was head of aero for both Williams and Renault in the past 10 years is willing to work as his deputee,makes him worthwhile. When Williams recruited a barely heard of designer from March called Adrian Newey there were many like you who said the same

        1. [Con.text]

          I’m sure there’s this guy over at Haas who’s the best on-site machinist the paddock has ever known. Would he be the human capital asset that Honda is looking for to turn around his fortunes?

          Now, since about October of last year we’ve known two thing about Renault, that they want to fight for podiums and that their internal organization is not geared towards that. They’ve missed on a couple of drivers signings (kmag and Pérez), and one of their team leaders quit altogether. They dearly need leadership in all areas of their processes. Is this aerodynamicist the answer for their woes given the context? Is this front page news?

          1. @faulty First of all, do me a favor and next time if you’d like me to reply, tag me, so I’ll know to come back here.

            I don’t see how your first paragraph is relevant. Renault staff has been severely depleted by previous owners. They need to improve in all areas and are recruiting personnel in all areas. This is front page news because of the position he will occupy that is different and superior to all the other positions they’ve been filling for a year now and we’ve known nothing about. A chief aerodynamicist is no ordinary staff member, he’s one of the highest ranking employees of the team. So by definition he’ll head the aero team and will have to provide leadership. 100% worthy of front page. An entirely different thing is, if you don’t think he can provide that. Which is what I thought you meant by the original comment, hence my reply to the tune of, well, everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but some opinions are more informed and consequently worth more than others.

          2. @montreal95

            I’m sorry to not be worthy of your dedication and knowledge of F1.
            I will keep that in mind next time I think of an opinion.

            Because serious business.

          3. @faulty Way to go. Superb reply, straight to the point. Keep on dreaming you know better than paddock insiders

          4. @montreal95

            Dude, it’s over. Stop calling me. I’m seeing other people.

  4. That’s why the defining words in the article are ‘it’s new’ head of aerodynamics rather than hiring the head of aerodynamics from Red Bull. We can dream

  5. Too late for 2017 season – maybe he gets tired of Arbitoul before 2018…

  6. Doesn’t mean much to me as long as Abiteboul is in charge.

    1. @abdelilah I agree. It’s impressive to hear the word aerodynamics and RB in the same sentence but I’d suggest RB only let go of staff they don’t care about.

      1. I’m sure I read somewhere that Newey did work for one new employer while being on gardening leave. I wonder how good a student Machin was at being tutored by Newey.

      2. @peartree Nonsense. How can RBR keep hold of an ambitious engineer seeking a new challenge in a more senior position? They can offer him more money but that’s about it. And if it’s not about money, they have zero choice but to let him go chase his dreams. It’s not like they’re going to offer him Newey’s position as long as he’s still around…

        1. @montreal95 Newey is about to retire, it’s going to happen in a matter of 5 years or less. At RBR there must be a successor in line, that man was not Machin. Machin knows it RB knows it, if he was to any use to RB he would have gotten so much money Abiteboul’s Renault would have not had any chance of hiring him.

          1. @peartree Rumors about Newey’s retirement have been circulating since forever. You can’t know when he will retire, and who knows what’ll happen in 5 years. Maybe DM will get tired of his toy altogether, maybe they’ll decide they need a star name Chief from another team. On the other hand at Renault he can become chief of aero now. At a factory team with lots of potential to develop. I know what I’d choose even if I knew Newey will retire in a few years. Not everyone prefers 3 birds in the sky to 1 in the hand…

  7. Well, McLaren has ex RBR aerodynamicist… Working for few years now, infact a head of aero.. Yet they are still far.

    It takes a lot more than one excellent aerodynamicist. More like 200? In a good team, and with management supporting them in the right way…

    Something very few teams manage.

  8. I didn’t understand. It says…
    “Pete Machin, who worked on Red Bull’s world championship-winning cars as an aerodynamicist between 2010 and 2013”. Then what has he been up to since 2013? The headline suggests he was taken over from RedBull?

    1. @pdehaan Language can be misleading. I think he still worked for RBR until last year, but none of the cars after 2013 were championship winning

      1. Ah, is that it? Thx!

  9. All that hate for Abiteboul, when did that become a thing? It seems to be common knowledge that he’s some kind of reincarnation of an infamous Austro-German politician, only worse, but where does that come from?
    Has he said mean things about Virgin/Marussia/Manor-Marussia/Manor during his time at Caterham, which didn’t resonate well with the English-speaking fans? If so, I must’ve completely missed that. I know little to nothing about him that would lend itself for any kind of emotional response.

    What has this man done?

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