Nick Chester leaves Renault F1 amid major restructuring

Renault has announced the departure of Chassis Technical Director Nick Chester amid a major restructuring of the UK arm of its Formula 1 team.

Renault, which has its chassis base in Enstone and the engine factory at Viry-Chatillon in France, finished fifth in this year’s championship, failing to reach its pre-season target.

On Friday Renault announced that Chester, who has occupied various roles with the team across the last 19 years, will leave the operation, beginning a period of gardening leave.

It is the latest change at Renault in the wake of its recruitment of Dirk de Beer as Head of Aerodynamics in place of Peter Machin, while Pat Fry will join in 2020 once his period of gardening leave from McLaren expires.

“Nick has been a key part of Enstone for almost 20 years,” said Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul.

“His passion for the team has never wavered, despite experiencing some extremely challenging times.

“More recently, his commitment, technical insight and enthusiasm have inspired us to move from the back of the grid to the front of the midfield.

“We would like to sincerely thank Nick for everything and wish him every success in the next stage of his career.”

Renault rose from ninth to sixth to fourth from 2016 through 2018 and outlined its ambition to close the gap to Formula 1’s top three in 2019.

But instead it regressed and took only fifth, substantially behind McLaren, having finished just a handful of points in front of Toro Rosso.

The team will enter 2020 with a driver line-up of Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon.