Jean-Jacques His, the man responsible for Renault’s radical low-line, wide-angle V10 F1 engine, is stepping down.
Jean-Jacques His, the man responsible for Renault’s radical low-line, wide-angle V10 F1 engine, will leave his role as director of development at the Viry-Chatillon engine division on May 31.
According to reports, His had been somewhat sidelined in the pecking order at Renault when its former engine wizard Bernard Dudot returned to the fold in February. He has now decided on a "career change".
The Frenchman has been a part of Renault's motorsport activities for almost 20 years, which encompassed Renault's six F1 world championship titles won between 1992 and 1997.
His joined Renault in 1973 as calculations engineer prior to taking over as coordinator and then head of diesel engine development. In 1980, he was responsible for the design office in charge of new engine development before being appointed in 1984 to head up engine development at Renault Sport.
From then on, his career was closely linked to motorsport. He was even head of Ferrari's racing engine department between 1986 and 1988.
In 1997, when Renault officially withdrew from F1, His joined Renault's powertrain engineering department as the director of strategy and advanced engineering. He again made his expertise available to the F1 programme when Renault took over Benetton in 2000.
But in recent times Renault's engines have come under criticism for lacking power compared to their rivals.
In January, His said: "The new engine is still behind on power and we have lacked power for the last few years, but we have improved at the same pace as the other engine manufacturers. This showed that our choice of wide vee was capable of improvements. Our challenge now is to improve faster than our rivals."
Since then Renault has made giant leaps, with Fernando Alonso's pole position in Malaysia and runner-up spot in Spain at the weekend. Despite these improvements, His has decided the time has come to leave the company.