Following a month of discussion, rumour, and controversy in the Formula 1 paddock, Renault Sport Racing has officially announced that Marcin Budkowski will oversee all chassis development and production activities of its 2018 F1 challenger.
The former head of the FIA’s Formula 1 technical department resigned from his post last month, and will be on ‘gardening leave’ for a further two. Renault Sport Racing has defended its ‘aggressive’ acquisitions of staff members, as it attempts to rebuild the Enstone squad to its former glories. The controversy surrounding Budkowski’s appointment stems from his previous role; one in which he was privy to all future technologies submitted to the FIA for homologation by all teams. Despite this, Renault Sport maintains it is doing the right thing by itself.
“There have been a lot of positive changes these last few months at Renault Sport Racing with an accelerated expansion at Enstone, the restructuring of our engine philosophy at Viry with the supply of two top customer teams for 2018, our involvement in Formula E and other motor racing categories and the arrival of new partners,” explained Cyril Abiteboul, managing director Renault Sport Racing. “All of this is happening in a context where the seasons are longer and more intense. It was clear that the Renault Sport Racing management structure needed reinforcing. Marcin’s mission will be to continue the strengthening of Enstone to enable Renault to join the top Formula 1 teams by 2020, through relying on the proven personnel of the likes of Bob Bell, Nick Chester and Rob White. Marcin’s arrival is excellent news and further proof of our determination to achieve our goals.”
The announcement was made at the 2017 Japanese GP, alongside the news that Carlos Sainz will be replacing struggling British driver Joylon Palmer with immediate effect this season.