Pilbeam returns to Enstone, joins Renault F1 as chief race engineer

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Renault has announced the return of engineer Ciaron Pilbeam to Enstone as it continues its recruitment drive ahead of the 2017 Formula 1 season.

Pilbeam previously worked at Enstone with Renault’s predecessor, Lotus, through the 2013 season, having previously spent seven years at Red Bull Racing.

The Oxford graduate joined McLaren in the role of chief race engineer at the start of the 2014 campaign, but will now switch to Renault for next year.

“I’m happy to confirm that we have two appointments to Enstone’s senior management with Rob White transferring from Viry-Châtillon as Operations Director and Ciaron Pilbeam returning to us as Chief Race Engineer,” Renault Sport managing director Cyril Abiteboul said in a statement.

Renault returned to F1 as a constructor in 2016 after six years away, taking over the Lotus operation and has undertaken a significant rebuild of the team over the past 12 months, with the workforce increasing by 20%.

“2016 was always about laying the foundations for the future as we are committed to Formula 1 for the long haul,” Abiteboul said.

“Our 2016 car, the R.S.16, was conceived in an unbelievably short timeframe – literally a couple of weeks – so our focus for this year has been on expansion of headcount and infrastructure and looking to next year and beyond.

“Expansion is not the work of a moment so we’ve been recruiting people through the year and they have been joining us throughout the season.

“It’s definitely a case of targeting a quality workforce to come join us, but we do require a significant quantity of personnel in Enstone as we grow at a level allowing us to fight against the top teams.”