Renault will add 180 staff to its Formula 1 team over the next 18 months as it looks to rebuild following the takeover of Lotus at the end of last year.
Renault’s board approved the buyout of the financially-ailing Lotus team in December, marking the French manufacturer’s works return to F1 after six years away.
Staffing cuts made by Lotus reduced the team size at Enstone before Renault’s takeover was confirmed, leaving the new bosses to undertake a big recruitment drive.
Newly-appointed chief technical officer Bob Bell confirmed that Renault is looking to hire 180 new staff over the next 18 months at Enstone.
“We are in the process of re-resourcing Enstone and part of the road map is to be clear how we build up the resources over a two year timeframe,” Bell said.
“The head count is around 470 now and needs to be close to 650 in the long term, but it will take us up to 18 months to do it.
“At Viry it is less about resourcing and more about restructuring to make it mesh with Enstone and fit for purpose in the coming years.
“In parallel we need to think about the design of the car and consider our priorities. We need to ascertain where we will find most gains for 2017 but also look forward to 2018.
“It’s a reasonably protracted process to get to where we need to get, but we still need to show good progress and move forward in all areas in the meantime.”
Bell returned to Enstone for 2016 after six years away, having worked with Mercedes and Manor in the meantime. However, he has had no issues getting back in the swing of things with Renault.
“It’s been a relatively easy transition. I knew a lot of the people and the organizations so it has been quite straightforward,” Bell said.
“We have a mountain of work ahead of us so I am not under any illusions, but initially it’s been highly positive.”