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McLaren engineer Slade resurfaces at Renault

Long time McLaren race engineer Mark Slade has resurfaced at the Renault team for 2010.


Slade, who headed former McLaren driver Heikki Kovalainen’s engineering team last year, had been in the same role at the Woking based outfit for 15 years.

He had also headed engineering for the respectively title and race-winning drivers Mika Hakkinen and Kimi Raikkonen, but earlier this month was excluded amid a McLaren reshuffle.

Finland’s Turun Sanomat said Slade began working with Renault’s new Russian driver Vitaly Petrov at Valencia this week.

“McLaren did not want me at the races any more and so I have moved to Renault,” he is quoted as saying.

McLaren’s managing director Jonathan Neale recently said McLaren decided to reshuffle its engineering team for 2010 because “we felt it was the right time”.

He also played down suggestions McLaren’s 2009 struggles indicated an engineering weakness.

“I think it’s more that the opportunity of a new driver (Jenson Button), plus the rethinking required by the resource restriction agreement, comes at a very good time for us.

“It enabled us to ask ourselves: How are we going to best do this?” Neale added.