NOVEMBER 7, 2003
Iley moves to Ferrari
There were fears at Renault F1 that the departure of Mike Gascoyne, coupled with the team's decision to make a hurried switch to a 72-degree V10 engine because there was not time to produce a completely new 90-degree V10, would lead to a number of important engineers leaving the team and the news that head of aerodynamics John Iley has moved to Maranello to replace Nick Tombazis seems to be confirmation that this is happening. Iley was previously at Jordan with Gascoyne but followed him to Renault early in 2002 to design the impressive Renault R23. The advantage that the team enjoyed was an engine with a low centre of gravity but they paid for that with a lack of horsepower. The result was a car that was rarely capable of winning races but which did enough to get Renault fourth place in the Constructors' World Championship. Now Gascoyne has gone to Toyota and Iley to Ferrari Renault is sure to suffer although the full effects of that loss may not be felt until 2005. It will be interesting to see if Renault loses other chassis engineers in the months ahead.
Tombazis, incidentally, appears to be joining McLaren. He visited the team last week and it is believed that a deal was done. Tombazis was also tallking to Renault.
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