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A setback for Jacques... or Heinz-Harald

JACQUES VILLENEUVE is heading to Melbourne minus the motor engineer he has worked with since he entered Formula 1 last year. Eric Faron has quit Renault Sport and is moving to Australia where he will work with the BMW super touring car Diet Coke Racing with drivers Paul Morris and Geoff Brabham. Faron and his wife have visited Queensland on several occasions in recent years and decided that they wanted to live there and, at the end of last season, Faron went looking for work and contacted BMW Australia Motorsport.

Faron (35) has worked at Renault Sport since 1990 and in that period has race-engineered Riccardo Patrese, Damon Hill, David Coulthard and Villeneuve. He is the second Renault Sport engineer to quit the operation in recent months, Gerhard╩Berger's motor engineer in 1996 Vincent Gaillardot having moved to Arrows last autumn.

Faron will be replaced as Villeneuve's motor engineer by Damon Hill's engineer last year, Denis Chevrier, the most experienced of all the Renault Sport track engineers. He has been with the operation since 1985 and has overseen Thierry╩Boutsen, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna and Hill.

Heinz-Harald Frentzen will work with new boy Fabrice Lom.

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