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2005 & 2006 Renault - how did they get competitive? [split]


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#51 Buttoneer

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 12:47

Posts deleted. This thread became a Kimi discussion just because of the identity of the opening poster.

The question asked is reasonable - how did the Enstone squad get to the position they were in in 2005 and 2006.

It doesn't matter WHY the opening poster asked this. For the purposes of this thread, nobody is interested in what you think of the opening poster or Kimi Raikkonen, or The Red Bulls or the 2005 McLaren.

If you have nothing to contribute to the original question asked then you should not be posting here. Please stay on topic.

If any part of this post is unclear then please PM me.

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#52 One

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 13:01

Car wise:

Great combination with Mich tire with smart way of extracting max out of it by doing:
Dino Toso's arero dynamic,
Rear heavy weight distribution
Mass Damper
Superior Launch Control program
Engine management program

Fernando drove it to foe, Flav managed well (those years), and GF's played good team play.
Huge Mild Seven Bonus agreements for points (I thought) on top of relatively modest basic sponsorship deal.

Terrible Mac car.
...

I guess It was very well focused campaign strategy and they made the best out of it.

#53 drag

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 15:50

The special relationship with Michelin and Renault's fat wallet played their parts in the titles glory, but as far as brain power goes Enstone always had great senior technicians whose strength was in the collective.

Maybe nobody was as critical there as Newey has been at Red Bull, maybe no engineers who left the team ever repeated the amount of success they enjoyed while at Enstone and Enstone itself still waits to repeat their glory days. However, the strength being in the collective turned out to be an advantage as when the team started to move up the grid since Benetton became Renault, it was that the other teams actually started to lure in their engineers with better financial offers and they always found a good enough, if not better replacement.

When Renault came onboard a group of engineers were hired from Jordan, a privateer often punching above its weight at that time - Mike Gascoyne came in as the technical director, Bob Bell as his deputy, Mark Smith as the chief designer and Dino Toso as the chief aerodynamicist. Toso remained with the team until he passed away after a long battle with cancer in 2008. Dirk de Beer, a former BMW-Sauber man, became the new aero head and still holds the position.

Gascoyne was lured in by Toyota in 2003 and Smith by Red Bull in 2005 (then both met again at Force India and now at Caterham). Bell took over as the technical director and Tim Densham as the chief designer, both holding their positions during the championship years and beyond. In 2005, James Allison came back to the team after a few years at Ferrari to become Bell's deputy and then the technical director after Bell left in 2009. Tim Densham retired in 2011 and his deputy Martin Tolliday became the chief designer.

And let's not forget Pat Symonds who acted as the technical chief of all chiefs all the time up to the crashgate. They all desevre credit for the title success, as much as Renault, Michelin, Fernando Alonso or all the junior technicians for that matter do. Today, the technical team headed by the likes of Allison and de Beer is doing a great job for Lotus and proving their worth.


I think you summed up very well all the people that were involved in that glory days for Renault F1. I`ve read before that after Dino Toso was appointed as a chief aerodynamicist Renault started too look really competitive.Anyway we can say that they where some kind of a dream team with all that star names.

Edited by drag, 31 October 2012 - 23:11.


#54 2ms

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 16:25

The special relationship with Michelin and Renault's fat wallet played their parts in the titles glory, but as far as brain power goes Enstone always had great senior technicians whose strength was in the collective.

Maybe nobody was as critical there as Newey has been at Red Bull, maybe no engineers who left the team ever repeated the amount of success they enjoyed while at Enstone and Enstone itself still waits to repeat their glory days. However, the strength being in the collective turned out to be an advantage as when the team started to move up the grid since Benetton became Renault, it was that the other teams actually started to lure in their engineers with better financial offers and they always found a good enough, if not better replacement.

When Renault came onboard a group of engineers were hired from Jordan, a privateer often punching above its weight at that time - Mike Gascoyne came in as the technical director, Bob Bell as his deputy, Mark Smith as the chief designer and Dino Toso as the chief aerodynamicist. Toso remained with the team until he passed away after a long battle with cancer in 2008. Dirk de Beer, a former BMW-Sauber man, became the new aero head and still holds the position.

Gascoyne was lured in by Toyota in 2003 and Smith by Red Bull in 2005 (then both met again at Force India and now at Caterham). Bell took over as the technical director and Tim Densham as the chief designer, both holding their positions during the championship years and beyond. In 2005, James Allison came back to the team after a few years at Ferrari to become Bell's deputy and then the technical director after Bell left in 2009. Tim Densham retired in 2011 and his deputy Martin Tolliday became the chief designer.

And let's not forget Pat Symonds who acted as the technical chief of all chiefs all the time up to the crashgate. They all desevre credit for the title success, as much as Renault, Michelin, Fernando Alonso or all the junior technicians for that matter do. Today, the technical team headed by the likes of Allison and de Beer is doing a great job for Lotus and proving their worth.


I found this post fascinating. This is the kind of stuff I come to the forums for (makes all the other 99%/fans-with-agendas stuff worth bearing easily).

So to me the big question mark with Enstone now is money then. Dino Toso may be gone forever, but Allison's no slouch in aero and I wonder if it wouldn't be out of the question for the others to gravitate back if Enstone was to be able to get a proper head of steam going. It's not as if all of them are now working for McL and Ferrari as technical directors or whatever have you -- it seems, for the most part, that they're in relatively free situations. There's definitely a buzz about Enstone that's been missing for ages, attendant to their new drivers, and those drivers aren't going anywhere next year, for a change.

I wonder if there is any chance Symonds would return next season. A real shame that Mercedes were able to capitalize on Enstone's financial weakness by nabbing Bell. It seems many of the rest might still be options to them. If only there was another entity in the wings with Mercedes-like purse strings. Unfortunately, despite exceeding all expectations this season, it doesn't look like the fundamentals will have changed much for them next season though, does it? Maybe 3rd season will be the charm money-wise?

#55 swiniodzik

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 11:49

There's no way that the old squad will get together at Enstone again but there's no need for that either because as I said, this season has proved the current one is very competent, despite some worrying leaks we were hearing from the press in the last two years about several engineers leaving the team. I do believe that both the brains and facilities currently in place there seem to be ready and capable to compete at the top consistently and what seems to be lacking is the money.

And it's hard to say what Genii's plans really are for the long-term. As an investment firm they don't have a product to sell or even as deep pockets as, say, Red Bull does. The intended business model of the team being a Genii-managed platform for generating synergies between different companies from different fields hasn't really worked so far.

On the other hand, Gerard Lopez seems to be a genuine fan of the sport in the same vein as Dietrich Mateschitz. He claims they're seriously in here and want titles and the fact is they've improved the facilities nicely since Renault left. The CFD computing power was increased, the wind-tunnel was upgraded to a 60% scale from 50% and a modern simulator was built from scratch.

Still, after the luckless Group Lotus affair they're bascially back to square one - without a title sponsor and a real link to the car manufacturer they're naming their chassis after. The rumours about the team being for sale may be exaggerated but surely Lopez is looking intensively for new serious investors into the team. This year's results should make for a strong incentive for potential new partners to join the project.

#56 2ms

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 12:18

It seems to me that good sponsorship ought to be almost inevitable for a team making creditable go at Top-3 status. Yet, indeed it does appear they're basically back to square one in many ways, despite such a remarkable season. Are you not very concerned about money for next season? It seems they already have somewhat constrained in-season development relative to the top teams. How far in advance do big sponsors usually need to come on board... Do you think there's any reasonable chance something big could happen that would improve their situation for next season?

#57 swiniodzik

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 16:58

I'm concerned about the financial situation for next year. The constrained car development is one thing, AMuS has reported during the Indian weekend that the team is late with some payments to its employees and suppliers. They also say that there's another loan in place taken by Genii, this time with Proton being the lender, to help them fund the team which is yet to be fully re-paid and it's said to be secured on the team's assets. So all in all, it's far from a normal situation for a team that aspires to be a top one. I can only guess about the chances of anything happening on the sponsor front soon as I'm not an insider, just an observer.

#58 Dino2000

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 18:07

Excellent post. This is my contribution to the 2005/2006 days of the Enstone team.

During the 2005 season, I was told by a top level insider, that Renault was thinking about letting Michelin make the whole chassis and suspension, and them making only the mechanicals. Finally as history tells, this option was not taken, but it makes you realize how great was the input of Michelin in the design of the chassis/suspension of the Enstone car.

Today with the single supplier brand for the tyres, nobody is going to spend in the Enstone team the unknown quantity of money Michelin spent by then. However this season has been clear that the Enstone team was one of the best understanding the Pirelli tyres, an had a basically excellent car, that only the lack of funds for development made Kimi not be able to fight for the title to the end.

Edit: Typo

Edited by Dino2000, 01 November 2012 - 18:07.


#59 2ms

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 18:04

Is there anyone here who might have any insight on prospects for Enstone getting decent money next season? On the surface, it appears very grim in the sense that they've lost their main title sponsorship money (with Lotus going broke), and then additionally their pay driver seems to be going bust a bit and it seems improbably he'll be the major attraction for French sponsors as the plan had been plan (e.g. Total).

You can't really do a whole lot better than winning races. And looks like 3rd in WDC is very likely. Yet I feel a distinct absence of concrete evidence they won't be broke next season. Anyone got any inside information, or just any knowledge of reasons to be more optimistic?

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#60 prty

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 18:30

Is there anyone here who might have any insight on prospects for Enstone getting decent money next season? On the surface, it appears very grim in the sense that they've lost their main title sponsorship money (with Lotus going broke), and then additionally their pay driver seems to be going bust a bit and it seems improbably he'll be the major attraction for French sponsors as the plan had been plan (e.g. Total).

You can't really do a whole lot better than winning races. And looks like 3rd in WDC is very likely. Yet I feel a distinct absence of concrete evidence they won't be broke next season. Anyone got any inside information, or just any knowledge of reasons to be more optimistic?


Shouldn't that post be in the Lotus 2012 thread? Or did you post it here expecting people to see 2005 in a different light the day Kimi has won a race? :lol:

#61 Shiroo

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 19:04

Shouldn't that post be in the Lotus 2012 thread? Or did you post it here expecting people to see 2005 in a different light the day Kimi has won a race? :lol:

in the first place, Lotus - car manufacturer never sponsored the team. In any way, it only gave the name. And Proton gave a loan. Thats all

#62 2ms

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 20:07

Shouldn't that post be in the Lotus 2012 thread? Or did you post it here expecting people to see 2005 in a different light the day Kimi has won a race? :lol:


The conversation isn't about this past season but rather the difference between Enstone now and when it was at it was winning championships, with the predominant opinion apparently that the biggest one is that they have been having less money. Now the finances appear to be the murkiest ever. If you're interested in Enstone, have a read because there're some very informative posts. I only wish there were more with insight on the teams finances going forward, however...

#63 prty

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 20:23

The conversation isn't about this past season but rather the difference between Enstone now and when it was at it was winning championships, with the predominant opinion apparently that the biggest one is that they have been having less money. Now the finances appear to be the murkiest ever. If you're interested in Enstone, have a read because there're some very informative posts. I only wish there were more with insight on the teams finances going forward, however...


Sure, but in your post you didn't pose any comparison about 2005/2006, just a question about how the team, which is named Lotus Team now, is going to get money for next year, and you justify it because you called it "Enstone" instead. So, are you suggesting that we should use this thread to talk about the "Enstone team", in parallel to the "Lotus team" thread that already exists?

#64 2ms

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 20:30

No. Post wherever you want.