Boullier to head Renault fightback

Eric Boullier has been announced as the new team principal of Renault, as part of a restructuring process to take the Enstone-based outfit back to the front of the grid.

Boullier, who has been in talks with Renault for several weeks, replaces Bob Bell and will take over the sporting and performance responsibilities of the team. Meanwhile Bell will continue to oversee the design office and production this year’s car.

The 36-year-old Frenchman has had previous motor sport experience, having been the managing director of GP2 team DAMS, and is looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead with Renault.

“I am incredibly proud to be joining the Renault F1 Team as team principal.” he said.

“Renault is one of the most famous and successful names in motorsport and I look forward to leading the team into the new season. In the past Renault has demonstrated that it is one of the top teams in Formula One and I am sure that with hard work and determination we can challenge at the front once again.”

Boullier also revealed that Renault wish to appoint a strong second driver to partner Robert Kubica for 2010, with the likes of Nick Heidfeld still on the market.

The Frenchman also ruled out granting favours to the drivers he currently manages in his position as CEO  of the Gravity Sport Management company, which Renault co-owner Gerard Lopez is also currently involved with.

“The second driver will have to be able to score points and challenge Robert Kubica,” he said.

“So in fact, it might be a Gravity driver or not, but I can guarantee that it will be even more difficult for a Gravity driver to be selected as they really will have to prove their worth to be chosen as Renault’s second driver.”