Renault chief technical officer Bob Bell is to become a technical advisor to the team as part of a desire to step back from a full-time Formula 1 role.
Bell has worked in F1 for 36 years and was previously technical director at Renault when the team won back-to-back drivers’ championships with Fernando Alonso in 2005 and 2006 before joining Mercedes in 2011. Leaving his role as technical director at the end of Mercedes’ first dominant championship year of 2014, Bell then had a spell at Manor before rejoining Renault in his current role when it returned to F1 at the start of 2016.
However, Renault has now announced that Bell will take on a part-time position as technical advisor, with a focus on “developing technical collaborations with third parties to explore specific expertise and technologies that can contribute to the team’s overall performance.”
Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul praised Bell’s contribution to the team’s improvement since returning to the sport, as it currently sits fourth in the constructors’ championship.
“In just two and a half years he has helped to make Renault Sport a genuine and respected points scorer,” Abiteboul said. “He’s also a massive part of the heart and soul of the team and a real motivator for everyone to draw together and get the best from themselves and each other.
“Under this planned transition within the team’s executive management, Bob will now look closely at how to work with our partners but also the different stakeholders of Formula 1, and of the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance, to ensure we continue to move even further up the grid.”
The team also confirmed that 60-year-old Bell “will not be replaced in the position of F1 chief technical officer now that a fully functional and agile collaboration between Viry and Enstone has been implemented.”