Renault has just announced its new management team as it seeks to rebuild after the Singapore race fixing scandal.
Bob Bell, the wily Irishman who has been technical director for many years and who has worked at McLaren in the past, becomes the team principal, until the end of the season when a permanent replacement will be found. Alain Prost’s name continues to circulate in France as a possible candidate. He would restore a lot of pride and prestige to the brand after this demeaning and damaging episode.
Bob is very much a technical man, but he has a deep understanding of F1, is a first class manager and is pretty ego-free. It is a sound appointment, promoting from within.
The Renaults statement said, “Following the unfortunate recent events, the Renault F1 Team has reacted swiftly by implementing a new temporary management team structure, which will be in place from today until the end of the 2009 season.
“The reorganisation is as follows: Bob Bell, currently Technical Director, takes on the duty of Team Principal and Chief Technical Officer.
“Jean-François Caubet, currently Director of Marketing and Communications, takes the role of Managing Director.
“They will both report to Bernard Rey, President of the Renault F1 Team.
“Bob Bell will attend all the remaining races of the season and will be the team’s spokesperson on all sporting and technical matters. The Renault F1 Team is now ready to concentrate on the future and wishes to stress that no further comments or statements will be issued relating to the events of Singapore 2008.”
After training as an aerodynamicist, Bob Bell began his career in aviation, before turning his sights to Formula 1. He joined McLaren in 1982 and by 1988 was in charge of Research and Development, working on future projects that included the famous and ultimately still-born ‘Maverick’ land speed record challenger.
As an aerodynamicist with Benetton between 1997 and 1999, Bob moved to Jordan before rejoining Renault in 2002. He has been Technical Director since 2003, and the double-double of world championships in 2005 and 2006 were the reward for his dedication to the team’s spirit, ethics and technical achievement.