Renault has announced that Frenchman Eric Boullier will be its new team principal as the outfit undergoes a restructuring in its bid to return to the front of Formula 1.
Boullier has strong ties with Renault's new co-owner Gerard Lopez, having headed the entrepreneur's Gravity Sport Management company since the end of last year. He had been in discussions with the team for several weeks about taking on the role, and his move was confirmed on Tuesday.
Speaking about the announcement, Boullier said: "I am incredibly proud to be joining the Renault F1 team as team principal. Renault is one of the most famous and successful names in motorsport, and I look forward to leading the team into the new season. In the past, Renault has demonstrated that it is one of the top teams in Formula 1 and I am sure that with hard work and determination we can challenge at the front once again."
Boullier will take over the sporting and performance responsibilities from former team principal Bob Bell, who will remain at the outfit and continue to oversee the design office and production of the car. Bell had said before Christmas that he hoped the team could take a step forward in performance in 2010 before returning to a position to challenge for the title the year after.
"The real target for us is to build for 2011 and a championship campaign," he told AUTOSPORT. "But we have realistic expectations for 2010.
"We are not going to produce a car that catapults us to the front because F1 is very competitive. But our 2010 expectations are to run toward the front and challenge for the top three."