FEBRUARY 13, 2009

Renault loses one of the old guard

The French daily sports newspaper L'Equipe is reporting that Renault F1's chief engineer Denis Chevrier is to be dropped by the team.

The stories can be trusted as Chevrier is married to L'Equipe F1 journalist Anne Giuntini.

Chevrier is one of the survivors of the old Renault team, having started working with Bernard Dudot back in 1985, when he worked as a track engineer with Tyrrell. After Renault stopped supplying engines in F1 he worked briefly in rallying with a Renault 11 Turbo and then went to work in the company's prototype division until Renault began preparing to return to F1 in 1989. He engineered Thierry Boutsen and then went on to oversee the engines used by Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve, all of whom became World Champions. When Renault Sport withdrew from F1 again at the end of 1997 Chevrier was seconded to Mecachrome and in 1999 joined the Supertec operation, although he remained under contract to Renault Sport and was back on the team when it returned to F1 in 2001. The word is that Rob White will replace Chevrier in the role.