Renault has announced its chassis technical director Nick Chester will leave the team after nearly 20 years at Enstone.
Chester has been technical director since 2013, having previously been engineering director on the race-winning E20 and E21 cars when the team was known as Lotus. A fourth-place constructors’ championship finish last year was followed by a disappointing fifth place for Renault this season as it was comfortably beaten by customer team McLaren, and Chester has been placed on ‘gardening leave’ as part of a major restructuring of its technical departments in the UK.
“I have enjoyed 19 years in a team with great spirit and have worked with an incredibly loyal and talented group of people,” Chester said. “I am looking forward to a new challenge and wish everybody in the team all the best for the future.”
The British engineer began work at Enstone when the team was Benetton back in 2000, and played a role in Fernando Alonso’s back-to-back championship victories in 2005 and 2006. Focusing on the team’s more recent history, Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul praised Chester’s influence in moving the team forward since the French manufacturer returned as a full constructor in 2016.
“Nick has been a key part of Enstone for almost 20 years,” Abiteboul said. “His passion for the team has never wavered, despite experiencing some extremely challenging times. More recently, his commitment, technical insight and enthusiasm have inspired us to move from the back of the grid to the front of the midfield. We would like to sincerely thank Nick for everything and wish him every success in the next stage of his career.”
Renault has already announced that the experienced Pat Fry will join the technical management team at Enstone next year, following his own period of ‘gardening’ after leaving McLaren.