Kevin Magnussen, Renault, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016

Renault plans to hire 180 more staff

2016 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

Renault intends to hire 180 staff over the next one-and-a-half years at its Enstone base as the manufacturer plots its route back to the top in F1.

Chief technical officer Bob Bell said Renault have “a two year time-frame” to get the resources back to a competitive level at Enstone, where the team manufactures its chassis.

“The head count is around 470 now and needs to be close to 650 in the long term,” said Bell, “but it will take us up to 18 months to do it.”

Kevin Magnussen, Renault, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016
Renault’s RS16 is “down on aero and power”
A different approach will be taken at Viry-Chatillon, where the team’s engines are built. “At Viry it is less about resourcing and more about restructuring to make it mesh with Enstone and fit for purpose in the coming years,” Bell explained.

With a major overhaul of the aerodynamic rules expected for next season, Renault is prioritising long-term development.

“In parallel we need to think about the design of the car and consider our priorities,” said Bell. “We need to ascertain where we will find most gains for 2017 but also look forward to 2018.”

“It’s a reasonably protracted process to get to where we need to get, but we still need to show good progress and move forward in all areas in the meantime.”

Bell admitted the team’s 2016 car is a compromise effort which is lacking both in terms of power and downforce, but said the team were encouraged by its performance in testing.

“We are actually in good shape and were able to do fairly thorough checks as the car we brought to Barcelona is pretty much what we will run in Melbourne,” said Bell. “We were pleasantly surprised.”

“Although we are down on aero and power, the car is nicely balanced, consistent and good to develop. We didn’t need to chase a lot of time finding the balance so there’s a lot confidence we can get up to speed relatively quickly. If we can sneak into the top ten in Melbourne we’ll be pleased with that.”

Last year the team’s shortage of funds meant it struggled to bring new aerodynamic parts for the car. It intends to bring more this year and has a significant step planned for the Spanish Grand Prix which will include changes to RS16’s suspension.

2016 F1 season

Browse all 2016 F1 season articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

17 comments on “Renault plans to hire 180 more staff”

  1. Well, looks like they are serious about this venture. Almost makes you wonder if this is due to all the goading from Red Bull, and now they have a giant chip on their shoulder. Never underestimate spite, I guess. /speculation

    1. Yeah. They must be looking at last 6 years Mercedes story… And their awesome results. Era of engine maker + chassis maker teams is over. Supplying Red Bull probably provided them with ahamefully low returns on investment.

      But going at it this methodically, understating goals… Preparing.. It all reflects briliantly on the Renault. Almost makes me wanna buy one… Well first Mercedes..

      Never in 4 championship winning years I was ever desiring to buy a Renault. This preseason makes me approve of them a lot.

  2. “Bell admitted the team’s 2016 car is a compromise effort which is lacking both in terms of power and downforce, but said the team were encouraged by its performance in testing.”

    i understand the downforce part, but shouldn’t they at least have their engine sorted out after all those years? What have they been doing?

    1. Mrugank Dongre
      13th March 2016, 14:19

      That is exactly what I can’t see either. I mean look at Ferrari and how they’ve caught up. Also Honda is now at level with Renault, or they might be ahead, but certainly not below them. Its not like they don’t have resources; they didn’t even have a full works team up until now, as opposed to Ferrari and Mercedes, so they could spend more on their power unit. Just can’t see why they can’t catch up.

      1. The McLaren chassis is arguably at lot closer to Red Bull, than Renault, yet the McLaren Honda is only about the same performance as the Renault car, and nowhere near Red Bull. I’d say the Renault PU is still quite a lot better than the Honda PU.

        1. I agree. Honda is still miles behind Renault in the PU department. I think the Honda 2016 PU is probably as good as the Renault 2015 PU.

    2. Holding out for a rule change that would have made the current engine development redundant.

    3. Ferrari simply fixed an umderlying serius design flaw…

      Renault has no easy fixes.. Save for split turbo design, nothing that they could fix was easy to fix. Great big turbo wont fix a poorly designed combustion engine. And for years. Renault powerplants were renown for being slightly underpowered.

      Also major part of hybrids is fuel performance… There are major headways found there. Mercedes last year only really improved the fuel and reshaped combustion chamber for better fuel.

      So Renault might have to slowly improve all areas and hope competitors improve more slowly. Because of natural limitations.

      1. “Great big turbo wont fix a poorly designed combustion engine.” In my opinion there is no poor design in F1. There are better and best design but I think that every manufacturer endeavors to provide the best product. These machines are not engines at all, we’re talking about Power Units. Mario Illien said in one interview that the flow of fuel at the rate of 100kg/h is done by 10500rpm. Obviously MGU-K comes to play in order to compensate insufficient amount of fuel to reach 15000. Logical is: you have to run the engine on lean mixture, the rest is MGU-Ks. Lean mixture means higher exhaust gases temperature. That demands specific approach to combustion chamber design. I think Mercedes is so successful in building their power unit because these engines are actually – I hate to say this – diesel engines. Their experience in this area is immense. Efficient combustion in direct injection diesel engine is defined by rotation of the air within the combustion chamber achieved by specifically designed intake channels and well managed fuel injection. I’m writing this just to help you get a glimpse of complexity of these PUs and there is much much more about it. I haven’t even touched MGU-H. Every aspect of these machines, the complexity of them, makes the Merc predestined to be very successful. Renault will get them but we’ll have to wait ‘a bit’…, or until June, I hope ;-)

        1. Yeah! Lead engine guy mentioned, they had some input from daimler truck division…
          Engines are amazing. Probably most complex powerunits in the world….

        2. It’s probably worth mentioning that Renault have huge truck (pun intended) in the haulage diesel market.

          The problem for Renault was they got it substantially wrong first time around with regards to packaging & energy recovery and when it came to righting those wrongs, they were initially hamstrung by the black-box and token systems. Now the former is gone and the latter will be gone next year, they can set about finally fixing their problems.

        3. Hi Boomerang,

          Your story makes me wonder why some of Mercedes’ roadcars are using Renault diesel engines nowadays. And specifically diesel engines. I always read that as a sign of Renault producing better engines, at least maybe the smaller diesel engines. Perhaps it just means their price/(quality ratio is better and therefore more cost effective.

  3. Ghosn is such a pompous derrière. There is no evidence that Renault has ever earned an ROI from its F1 activities. Renault sells crappy econoboxes by the ton and train-load, not high performance sports and luxury GTs.

    This is all about Ghosn wanting to be a big-shot at Monaco, Singapore and Suzuka.

    1. Renault may sell ‘crappy econoboxes’ but they’re still one of the largest car manufacturers in the world linked up with other brands that *do* have high performance/luxury GTs, hence the Infinti branding riding shotgun.

    2. The ‘crappy econoboxes’ cliche has lived long enough as this Reliability Index demonstrate.
      http://www.reliabilityindex.com/manufacturer

  4. With a promising F1 career hanging by a thread after his misadventures at McLaren, Kevin Magnussen must be a very happy lad.

    1. Indeed KMag must be delighted. Maybe he was saved by the oil crisis and this was Maldonados misfortune. But we should also acknowledge, that he was not the only option. He had limited fonds to bid in and there must have been a line of former F1 drivers knocking on Renault’s door. And among those may have been Verne, a talented and experienced driver. But KMag was chosen anyway, and this is a credit to his talent and time spend at McLaren and maybe also how he managed himself during the tense period late in 2014 and after he was sacked last year.

Comments are closed.