The Brackley-based Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One team has announced the appointment of Bob Bell as technical director from April 1.

His role will primarily be based at the team's factory in Brackley with overall responsibility for the technical operations of the chassis group.

The team said his appointment would allow Ross Brawn greater freedom to oversee the full programme between the team's chassis group in Brackley and the engine group at Mercedes-Benz HighPerformanceEngines in Brixworth.

Bell began his career in motorsport as an aerodynamicist almost 30 years ago, working at McLaren, Benetton and Jordan, before becoming deputy technical director with Enstone-based Renault in 2001.

He was promoted to Technical Director in 2003 and played a key role in the team's double championship-winning successes of 2005 and 2006. He remained at Renault, becoming acting team principal in September 2009 and managing director in 2010, until his departure from the team in October of last year.

Bell said: "I am both delighted and honoured to be joining the Mercedes Gp Petronas Formula One Team as technical director. It will be a privilege to be a part of such a strong and determined organisation, and to be able to contribute to furthering the enviable heritage of Mercedes-Benz in motorsport."

Team principal Ross Brawn said: "We are delighted to welcome Bob to the team in the position of technical director. Bob's appointment is a key step in the strengthening of our excellent technical team and we are pleased to have recruited one of the most experienced engineers in the sport. Bob will be an important asset to our team, bringing with him a wealth of Formula One knowledge and championship-winning experience, and we look forward to welcoming him at the start of April."