Renault’s shuffle

In 2007, Renault will be having an organisational shuffle and executive director Pat Symonds is expected to take a much less hands-on role. Symonds wants to step away from the extensive repsonsibilities he currently has. With Alonso leaving, it is the perfect opportunity for Renault to go ahead with a reshuffle.

Symonds is expected to continue to travel to all Formula 1 race weekends and will remain in the tactics within the team. However, Alan Permane, Fisichella’s ex-race engineer, is predicted to take over the chief responsibilities for Renault’s activities at the race meets.

Permane’s new title will be Chief Race Engineer. He will be assisted by Symonds during the early part of the season to ensure the handover goes as smoothly as possible. A spokesperson for Renault has said, “The changes form part of the team’s planned transition into 2007, which will see the team racing with a new driver line-up, and the commencement of an engine supply agreement with Red Bull Racing that creates additional trackside roles at races and tests.”

Symonds will now have more time to work more closely with Renault boss Flavio Briatore. He will also continue his work representing Renault on the Technical Working Group and being a part of the FIA’s Open Cockpit Research Group.

With Permane being promoted, the race engineers also face a reshuffle. Fisichella’s race engineer Fabrice Lom will now co-ordinate the group of trackside personnel allocated to support Red Bull Racing’s effort. No decision has yet been made about whether Rod Nelson, Alonso’s ex-race engineer, will now work with Fisichealla or Kovalainen.

Renault have commented that “In parallel with the evolution of the chassis team, engine trackside operations have also been reviewed. This review took account of the engine supply agreement with Red Bull Racing, the changes to the engine rules and the agreement between the teams concerning private testing. These changes will be finalised and confirmed internally during the winter, with effect from the first test of 2007. Renault have become only the fourth team in F1 history to secure back-to-back drivers’ and constructors’ championships, and the team have set their sight on adding more titles next year.