JANUARY 6, 1997
More defections from Renault Sport?
THERE are suggestions in France that more Renault Sport engineers are likely to leave Bernard Dudot's team at Viry-Chatillon to take up jobs with rival F1 teams. Renault Sport has already lost one of its brightest young race engineers, Vincent Gaillardot, to the TWR Arrows operation and now we hear that Ferrari is trying to lure other Renault men to Italy. The main target appears to be the head of the research & development department of Renault Sport, Jean-Jacques His.
The 49-year-old Frenchman has worked at Renault since he graduated in 1972 although he did not join Renault Sport until 1985 when he replaced Jean-Pierre Boudy - who had moved to Peugeot. A year later His was recruited by Ferrari to be head of the competition engine department at Maranello and for two years he worked at Ferrari. In July 1988, however, he went back to Renault Sport when it became clear that the company would be returning to F1 racing. He has been there ever since.
Ferrari needs to find a new head of engine research and development following the departure from Maranello of Osamu Goto, who joined the new Sauber Petronas Engineering organization in November last year. Jean-Jacques His is the obvious choice.
Renault has yet to announce what it intends to do after it withdraws from Formula 1 at the end of this season, although there have been suggestions that the company might get involved in Indycar racing.
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