Renault confirms Pat Fry's new role and start date

Renault is making major changes to its technical structure at its base in Enstone. Eric Alonso/MB Media/Getty Images

Renault has confirmed Pat Fry will join its team as technical director next month, taking on the role left vacant by Nick Chester at the end of last year.

Renault announced Fry would join the team last November, a month before Chester's departure had been confirmed, but did not elaborate on his exact role. At the time, Fry was serving gardening leave from his most recent role at McLaren, where he worked as a temporary engineering director between 2018 and 2019 before the arrival James Key as the team's technical director.

Fry will start work at Renault's factory in Enstone, Oxfordshire on Feb. 5 this year ahead of the team's season launch in Paris on Feb. 12 and the first day of F1 testing on Feb. 19.

Renault struggled for performance throughout the 2019 season, finishing fifth in the championship behind a resurgent McLaren. The team's slow progress since returning to F1 in 2016 has cast doubt over Renault's future in the sport, although significant investment has been made at Enstone in a bid to return to the front of the grid after the next major regulation change in 2021.

Fry joins a management team headed up by Cyril Abiteboul and Marcin Budkowski, and will oversee an aerodynamics department led by Dirk de Beer, who returned to the team at the end of last year after roles at Williams and Ferrari.

Fry's recent job at McLaren was his second stint at the team after a long spell at the British team between 1993 and 2010. He left his original McLaren job to join Ferrari's technical hierarchy in 2010, serving as technical director from 2011 to 2013.