File picture: Zoltan Balogh/MTI via AP.

AUSTIN, TEXAS - The Renault Formula One team announced the return of Dirk De Beer as head of aerodynamics on Friday and said an unidentified deputy would also join next year from another team.

The team said in a statement at the US Grand Prix that Peter Machin, the previous head of aero at the Enstone factory, was leaving by mutual agreement with immediate effect.

De Beer left Williams in May last year after a troubled start to the 2018 season. He had joined from Ferrari in 2017 after previous stints with Sauber (now Alfa Romeo), Renault and Lotus.

"In 2019 we have shown some strengths but identified areas that needed reinforcement," said team boss Cyril Abiteboul in the statement.

"After a rapid growth of our aerodynamic department and a modernisation of our equipment, the strengthening of the management layer of this key department will help us reap the benefits of our investments."

Renault, with Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo and German Nico Hulkenberg, are fifth in the constructors' championship with three races to go, after finishing fourth last year.

Two weeks ago Ricciardo and Hulkenberg were disqualified from the results of the Japanese Grand Prix after the sport's governing body ruled they had benefited from an illegal driver aid.

Australian Ricciardo and German Hulkenberg were classified sixth and 10th at the October 13 race in Suzuka but the Racing Point team protested the brake bias system used by the French manufacturer.

The FIA said the stewards had concluded after a telephone hearing that while the brake bias system "used innovative solutions to exploit certain ambiguities", it did not breach the technical regulations.

The system was, however, not allowed as a driver aid.

"The brake balance adjustment system in question acts as a driver aid, by saving the driver from having to make a number of adjustments during a lap," it said. 

Reuters