Ferrari sign Lotus’ chief aerodynamicist de Beer

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Ferrari’s ransacking of Lotus has continued today with the signing of chief aerodynamicist Dirk de Beer from the Enstone-based outfit.

The team confirmed on Tuesday that it had signed Kimi Raikkonen for the 2014 season to partner Fernando Alonso in Maranello, following in the footsteps of the team’s former technical director James Allison.

Allison made the move to Ferrari last month, joining as the chassis technical director. In this role, he is thought to have targeted the likes of de Beer to help the team to challenge for both championships in 2014. Ferrari has suffered difficulties in recent years with its car design thanks to correlation problems between the wind tunnel and the track, although the team is confident of correcting this for next season.

de Beer is set to work alongside the team’s current head of aerodynamics, Loic Bigois.¬†Heading in the opposite direction is Ferrari’s Nicolas Hennel, who will be de Beer’s direct replacement at Lotus.

The arrival of Allison, de Beer and (crucially) Raikkonen at Ferrari sends out the team’s signal of intent for 2014, making anything less than a championship challenge a disappointing year for the Italian marque.