Renault's Gascoyne switches to Toyota

Toyota has confirmed that it has acquired the services of Renault's technical director Mike Gascoyne as it seeks to up its game in the Formula 1 World Championship in 2004. He will start work for the German-based team on December 1

Renault's Gascoyne switches to Toyota

Gascoyne moved to Renault (then Benetton) in 2000 where he played a key role in turning the Anglo-French team into a race-winning proposition. His move to Toyota has been smoothed as the Japanese manufacturer is understood to have given Renault a cash pay-out to avoid Gascoyne sitting out a six-month 'gardening leave' period as it develops its TF104 chassis for next season.

Toyota has created a new role for Gascoyne of 'technical director chassis', working with the team's chief designer Gustav Brunner. Toyota has also appointed Luca Marmorini in a new role of 'technical director engine'.

"We have decided to appoint a technical director for both chassis and engine departments to improve the efficiency of our team," said vice-president of Toyota Motorsports, Toshihiro Kurusu. "Mike Gascoyne will be in charge of the technical aspects of the chassis at the factory in Cologne and also at races and tests. The position of Norbert Kreyer [general manager of race and test engineering] will remain the same and, like Gustav, he will report directly to Mike."

Gascoyne said: "I am naturally sad to be leaving the Mild Seven Renault F1 Team after three highly enjoyable and successful seasons. Likewise, I am looking forward to my exciting new role at Toyota with great enthusiasm and, together, we will relish the long-term challenge of developing Toyota into a world championship-winning team."

Gascoyne's successor at Renault is Bob Bell, who has been his understudy at Enstone since 2001.

"We are delighted to offer Bob Bell the role of technical director," said Renault team principal Flavio Briatore. "The entire technical team has done an outstanding job developing our car over the past two years, and we have made impressive progress."

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Renault Announce Bell as Gascoyne's Replacement

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