Fernando Alonso’s chassis race engineer, Rod Nelson, has followed the back to back world champion out of Renault’s factory doors at Enstone.
Unlike McLaren-bound Alonso, however, the 44-year-old Briton – a long-time Benetton-Renault employee – is understood to be heading to Grove, to become Williams’ head engineer.
Sources indicate that while Nelson’s destination is not certain, he is definitely not working at Renault any more.
Confirmation of the reports has not yet been forthcoming, but it is believed that Nelson will take over some of Sam Michael’s trackside duties as the Australian technical director becomes more factory-based next year.
Williams’ co-owner Patrick Head said recently: “I think in truth (Sam’s) focus probably stayed a bit too much on the operations side and not enough around the factory.”
Nelson’s departure may also be linked to the promotion of his Renault colleague, Giancarlo Fisichella’s former engineer Alan Permane.