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Frenchman Boullier replaces Flavio Briatore at Renault

New Renault boss Eric Boullier
Renault have chosen Frenchman Boullier to replace Briatore as team boss

Renault have named Frenchman Eric Boullier as their new team principal to replace Flavio Briatore.

Boullier, 36, was formerly the managing director of French team DAMS, a leading force in the GP2 feeder category.

"The team wanted some fresh blood and to open a new chapter," said Boullier. "I am incredibly proud to join them."

Briatore left Renault in September in the wake of the scandal over the team's attempts to fix the outcome of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

The Italian was found guilty of asking Nelson Piquet Jr to crash deliberately to aid team-mate Fernando Alonso's chances of winning.

Briatore was handed a lifetime ban for his role in the incident but that suspension was overturned by the French high court on Tuesday.

Staff morale had been affected by the end of the 2009 season

Eric Boullier

Boullier's appointment was exclusively revealed by BBC Sport before Christmas, after he was introduced to Renault F1 staff as their new team principal.

On Tuesday, he said he was determined to dispel any lingering effects of "crash-gate" now his tenure as team principal has officially begun.

"When I started in the job it quickly became clear that the staff morale had been affected by the end of the 2009 season and that the last few weeks had been quite challenging," he added.

"However, the team is now very motivated thanks to the new philosophy the Renault F1 team want to implement.

"Everyone is now refreshed and ready for action."

Technical director Bob Bell was named acting team principal for the final four races of the season following Briatore's departure, but he has now returned to his former role in the wake of Boullier's arrival.

Boullier, who began his career as a race engineer in minor categories 10 years ago, will focus on the sporting performance of the team.

The Frenchman insists he has not been set a timeframe by Renault to prove himself but added: "I have set myself relatively high objectives.

"There is no pressure, only the motivation to do the job for which I have been appointed well.

"In the past Renault has demonstrated that it is one of the top teams in F1 and I am sure that with hard work and determination we can challenge at the front once again."

Renault's determination to return to the top should be aided by the arrival of race winner Robert Kubica.

The Pole's manager Daniel Morelli confirmed to the BBC that the former BMW Sauber driver would honour his contract with Renault following talks with Luxembourg private investment group Genii Capital, which now owns 75% of the team.

Renault have yet to confirm who will partner Kubica next season, which begins on 14 March in Bahrain.

Boullier, who is linked to drivers through his role as chief executive of Gravity Sport Management however, has already laid down some prerequisites.

"The second driver will have to be able to score points and challenge Kubica," he added.



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see also
Briatore maintains his innocence
06 Jan 10 |  Formula 1
Kubica to stay with Renault team
04 Jan 10 |  Formula 1
Renault choose Briatore successor
23 Dec 09 |  Formula 1
Renault sell team but stay in F1
16 Dec 09 |  Formula 1
Renault handed suspended F1 ban
21 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Briatore out over Renault fix row
16 Sep 09 |  Formula 1


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