Andretti hires Nick Chester as technical director for F1 project

Andretti hires Nick Chester as technical director for F1 project

Nick Chester, a former technical director for Renault, is reported to have joined Andretti after leaving McLaren’s Formula E team to serve as the technical director for its Formula 1 project.

Chester, who succeeded James Allison as Renault’s technical director in 2013 when it was still known as Lotus, oversaw the team’s technical operations until 2020. He later joined the Mercedes Formula E team, where he helped the team win back-to-back drivers’ championships in 2020–2021 and 20–2022 while also staying with the team during its first switch to McLaren.

According to that Andretti has succeeded to entice Chester from Formula E to oversee its technical operations as it continues its expansion in a bid to venture in F1.

In response to the FIA opening the application procedure for as early as 2025, the American team has now officially expressed its desire in joining the grid after initially made its intentions to join F1 public.

However, some of the F1 teams, which are aiming to increase the entry price from $200 million to $600 million in an effort to secure their franchise value, have objected Andretti’s declaration of interest in the sport.

Andretti has teamed up with General Motors to take the Cadillac brand into Formula One, but this would not entail the American brand developing its own powertrain. This collaboration is intended to increase Andretti’s prospects of obtaining an entrance.

As Andretti seeks to diversify its motorsport interests, the company is expanding its Indiana-based facilities, and it is also hiring engineers for posts in Banbury, which may mean that a portion of the F1 team will also be based at the Oxfordshire town’s Formula E complex.

When the GM/Cadillac partnership was first revealed in early February, Andretti acknowledged during a media conference call that he had already hired a number of important individuals.

“We’ve done a lot of hiring… We have quite a few people already working for us,” said Andretti.

“We have hired the main engineers, so yes, we’re very much down the road and we have a technical director already hired, and we’ll announce that down the road as well.”

The Briton began his F1 career in 1994 with Simtek and later switched to Arrows in 1995. In 1997, he was hired as Damon Hill’s engineer and afterwards worked with Mika Salo and Pedro de la Rosa. After that, in 2000, he switched to Benetton to join its test team. He spent nearly 20 years with the Enstone based outfit under numerous guises.

Meanwhile, McLaren just hired Chris Dyer from Alpine to boost its Formula E and Extreme E technical teams. Dyer served as Michael Schumacher’s race engineer at Ferrari for many of his F1 championship-winning seasons.

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