Renault hires Mercedes' Harman as deputy chief designer

Image by Mauger/LAT

Renault hires Mercedes' Harman as deputy chief designer

Formula 1

Renault hires Mercedes' Harman as deputy chief designer

Renault has hired Matthew Harman from Mercedes to become the team’s new deputy chief designer.

Harman was previously head of powertrain integration and transmission design at Mercedes, where Renault says he “ensured seamless integration between the power unit, transmission and chassis.” As of September 1 Harman will start work with the Enstone-based team, assisting Chief Designer Martin Tolliday in the design of future cars

“Over the past three years Bob Bell has been leading the charge for the team to reinforce its technical line-up,” Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul said. “We are delighted to have attracted someone of Matthew’s caliber to enable the team to anticipate on the design cycle of future cars, a crucial benefit, something we are currently missing since the team’s acquisition and that will become even more important with the upcoming changes planned for 2021.”

With Renault finishing seventh and eighth at last weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix, the team consolidate fourth place in the constructors’ championship and Abiteboul had said the next step is to focus on closing the gap to Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.

“The entire weekend illustrated the beneficial teamwork between Viry and Enstone. We delivered upgrades to the Power Unit and chassis and these worked extremely well,” he said.

“We did have difficult moments on Friday and Saturday but the team has done an amazing job of recovering from that, including changing a turbo one hour before qualifying with all hands on deck in a magnificent display of teamwork.

“We now aim to build on this result by looking at what can be done to reduce the performance deficit to the top three teams.”

Renault is currently 16 points clear of McLaren in the constructors’ championship, but 78 points adrift of third-place Red Bull and 150 points behind Mercedes after the first seven races.

–Chris Medland

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