Renault’s Chief Technical Officer Bob Bell has taken a step back from F1, and will now work as a technical advisor to the Enstone team.
Renault have announced that, as part of a planned transition, their Chief Technical Officer Bob Bell is to move into a technical advisory role to the team as he moves into a part-time working life. He will continue to help develop technical partnerships between Renault and external companies, as well as ‘maintaining several aspects of his current job’.
His position will not be directly replaced, as Renault have opted to establish a different management structure for their technical department.
Bell is one of the stalwarts of Formula 1, having first joined the sport in 1982 with McLaren. Working there as an aerodynamicist, the Northern Irishman moved to Benetton in 1997 as a Senior Aerodynamicist. He left there for Jordan in 1999, before returning to Benetton as a Deputy Technical Director. After the departure of Mike Gascoyne in 2003, Bell became the Technical Director for Renault and his 2005 R25 won both Championships in the hands of Fernando Alonso. This was followed up by another victory with the 2006 car.
Briefly becoming the interim overall manager of Renault after the banning of Flavio Briatore & Pat Symonds from F1, Bell left for Mercedes in 2001, becoming their new Technical Director. He left there in 2014 and joined the Manor team as an advisor before returning to Enstone as their Chief Technical Officer in 2016.
Renault’s Cyril Abiteboul explained what will happen for Bell as the team aim to continue their upward momentum since rejoining the sport in 2016: “In just two and a half years, [Bob] has helped to make Renault Sport a genuine and respected points scorer. He’s also a massive part of the heart and soul of the team and a real motivator for everyone to draw together and get the best from themselves and each other.
“Under this planned transition within the team’s executive management, Bob will now look closely at how to work with our partners but also the different stakeholders of Formula 1, and of the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance, to ensure we continue to move even further up the grid.”