Renault's F1 engine chief Taffin departs company

Renault stalwart Remi Taffin, who was the French car manufacturer’s Formula 1 engine technical director, has left the company.

Renault's F1 engine chief Taffin departs company

The Frenchman has been part of Renault’s F1 programme since 1999, and early in his career worked as an engine engineer for a host of drivers including Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button.

In 2009, Taffin stepped up to take overall control of Renault’s F1 activities and then from 2014, at the start of the current turbo hybrid era, he became director of operations.

From 2016, as Renault ramped up its involvement in F1 and returned to grand prix racing with its own works team, Taffin was promoted to become engine technical director and was tasked with pushing forward its powerunit development.

While Renault had endured its fair share of frustrations during the early turbo hybrid era, it did make progress to help Red Bull achieve a number victories, and most recently powered Esteban Ocon’s Alpine car to success in Hungary.

But as Renault continues work on an all-new powerunit for 2022, which it hopes will allow it to close the gap to the benchmark Mercedes and Honda engines, it has emerged that Taffin has departed.

A spokeswoman for the Alpine team confirmed to Autosport that Taffin left Renault at the start of July by 'mutual agreement'.

It is understood Renault is not looking for a direct replacement, and instead plans to divide Taffin’s former responsibilities amongst current staff.

Remi Taffin, Head of Renault Sport F1 Track Operations and Mattia Binotto, Ferrari Chief Technical Officer

Remi Taffin, Head of Renault Sport F1 Track Operations and Mattia Binotto, Ferrari Chief Technical Officer

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

'Painful' strategic choice

Although Renault’s current power unit performance is behind its main rivals, the engine is effectively now in its third season due to enforced delays in the introduction of its new design.

Speaking earlier this month, Alpine’s executive director Marcin Budkowski said the situation was not perfect, but there remained optimism about its engine plans for the future.

“We've had the same engine we're using for the third consecutive year, with very, very small changes in 2020 and 2021,” he said. “It's a 2019 engine we are using, and as a result some of our competitors made gains that we haven't.

“The choice was driven by the fact that we were planning to introduce a whole new engine in 2021, together with the new chassis regulations. The chassis regulations have been delayed. We have also delayed introduction of that new engine to 2022 because unfortunately, with the factory closures and the working from home requirements we had last year, we were just unable to deliver it for 2021.

“So we're in a slightly non-ideal situation where we had to delay our new power unit, which has improvements to propulsive power and energy management, and the kind of usual things that make you quicker on a straight line. It has also a new architecture and changes that are designed to address some of our weaknesses compared to our competitors.

Read Also:

“We didn't have the resources to relaunch the development programme on this year's engine and continue to work on the 2022 engines. We decided to put all our efforts on 2022, so it's a strategic decision.

“I believe it's the right one but it's painful, because as a result this year we lost ground compared to our competitors.”

shares
comments

Related video

The mystery capitulation that denied F1’s ultimate enigma title glory
Previous article

The mystery capitulation that denied F1’s ultimate enigma title glory

Next article

The numbers that are the true judge of Ferrari’s 2021 F1 progress

The numbers that are the true judge of Ferrari’s 2021 F1 progress
Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return Plus

Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing

The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected Plus

The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected

The late Mauro Forghieri played a key role in Ferrari’s mid-1960s turnaround, says STUART CODLING, and his pretty, intricate 1512 was among the most evocative cars of the 1.5-litre era. But a victim of priorities as Formula 1 was deemed less lucrative than success in sportscars, its true potential was never seen in period

Formula 1
Jan 28, 2023
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Plus

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

Formula 1
Jan 27, 2023
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2023
Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Plus

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023