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Taffin parts ways with Renault

NEWS STORY
10/08/2021

Renault engine technical director, Remi Taffin has reportedly left the French manufacturer after 22 years.

Taffin joined Renault Sport F1 in 1999 as race engineer to Riccardo Zonta at BAR at a time the Brackley-based team was using the Supertec engine.

Other than a year as test engineer at Benetton (2001), he continued as a race engineer to the likes of Jos Verstappen, Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso before becoming engine engineer to Heikki Kovalainen and Alonso, with whom he worked for another two seasons.

From 2010, in successive years he was head of engine track operations (2010), head of track engineering, track operation manager, head of track operations and operations director before being appointed engine technical director in 2016.

Due to financial reasons, a situation not helped by the fact that Renault no longer has any customer teams, it was decided to retain the 2020 engine for this season ahead of an all-new power unit for 2022.

Despite Esteban Ocon's historic win in Hungary, Alpine executive director Marcin Budkowski had previously claimed the engine to be Alpine's Achilles heel.

"It's essentially the same car we've had for three years," he told The Race, "same chassis, same engine, same gearbox.

"We weren't expecting miracles," he added, "there were still opportunities on the aero side, to do a better job over the winter.

"We've done a decent job when I look at our direct competitors," he insisted. "We've not done the best job, we've not done the worst job, we've done a decent job, but we could've done a better job.

"On the engine side, we've lost ground to our competitors as well because they've developed their engines and we haven't, and that's because we have a major engine evolution next year.

"We didn't have the resources to relaunch the development programme on this year's engine and continue to work on the 2022 engines," he admitted. "So we decided to put all our efforts on 2022.

"It's a strategic decision," he insisted. "I believe it's the right one but it's painful, because as a result this year we lost ground compared to our competitors."

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