By Alan Baldwin
(Reuters) - Italian Davide Brivio will join the Alpine Formula One team from MotoGP as racing director, Renault chief executive Luca de Meo said on Sunday.
Brivio's departure from reigning MotoGP champions Suzuki was announced on Jan. 7 amid speculation he was heading for the Renault-owned F1 team that has been renamed as the Alpine sportscar brand.
"Italy is a source of excellence, engineers, mechanics, professionals who have Formula One in their DNA so I chose an Italian, Davide Brivio, as Racing Director, the head of our racing team," de Meo told Il Corriere della Sera newspaper.
"Sure he's an outgoing MotoGP world champion, with Suzuki, on two wheels.
"But it doesn't matter if there are four wheels on this side. He's an excellent professional, he knows the flavour of a track, the importance of having a close-knit team, giving each one a specific role, he knows how to organize the work."
The team issued a short statement confirming the role.
Brivio presided over a double title success as Suzuki team boss last year, with Spaniard Joan Mir winning the MotoGP world championship in the absence of injured Honda rider and compatriot Marc Marquez.
Renault were Formula One world champions in 2005 and 2006 with Spaniard Fernando Alonso, who is rejoining the team this season after two years out of Formula One and at the age of 39.
Both of his titles came when the Renault team were run by an Italian, Flavio Briatore -- a flamboyant and controversial figure who has steered Alonso's career since the Spaniard's debut in Formula One.
Briatore had a background in marketing, famously dismissed by rivals as a "T-shirt salesman" when he came into Formula One with Benetton, but led the team to the top with Michael Schumacher in the 1990s.
Renault have announced the departure of team principal Cyril Abiteboul but have yet to say who will take his place at the helm.
That role has been expected to go to executive director Marcin Budkowski. The team said Brivio will report to Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi.
Renault came fifth overall last season with three podium finishes.
Alonso is replacing Australian Daniel Ricciardo, who has joined McLaren, alongside French driver Esteban Ocon.
(Additional reporting by Gianluca Semeraro in Milan, editing by Ed Osmond)