PEOPLE: JEAN-JACQUES HIS
Name: Jean-Jacques His
From the seaside town of Houlgate in Normandy - not far from the D-Day beaches - His won a place to study engineering at the famous Ecole Centrale des Arts et Manufactures in Paris. He then spent a year at the more specialist Ecole Nationale Superieure du Petrole et des Moteurs, graduating at the end of 1972 and immediately joining Renault to work in the engine research & development center at Rueil Malmaison, in the suburbs of Paris.
Initialy he worked in the calculation and analysis departments, before moving on to an in-depth study of diesel engines. In 1976 he was put in charge of the development of Renault diesel engines. Five years later he was promoted to head the New Projects department of the R&D center.
In 1984, however, when Jean-Pierre Boudy quit Renault to join the new Peugeot Sport, the search for a replacement arrived at His's door and he was soon installed at the Renault Sport factory at Viry-Chatillon, doing the R&D work for Bernard Dudot's team.
At the end of 1985 Renault Sport pulled out of Grand Prix racing, deciding to supply only customer engines in 1986. His was approached by Ferrari and accepted the role as manager of the competition engine department at Maranello. He oversaw work on the Ferrari V6 turbo, the Indycar V8 turbo and a new 3.5-liter V12 for F1.
In mid-1988, however, Renault Sport was given the go-ahead to build a new V10 engine for F1 and Dudot set about getting his men back together again. His rejoined Renault in July 1988 just three months before the RS1 ran for the first time in the back of a Williams at Paul Ricard in October 1988. The program enjoyed enormous success with Williams and Benetton in the 1990s but at the end of the 1997 season Renault Sport withdrew for Grand Prix racing.
His stayed on with the company and was promoted soon afterwards to become head of engine design for the entire Renault company but he returned to Renault Sport in 2000 as technical director for the company's renewed assault in F1. He was appointed managing-director of Renault Sport in 2002 but in February 2003 he was replaced in the role by Flavio Briatore. He left Renault in mid-2003 and joined Ferrari's sister company Maserati.