As the F1 season reaches the mid way point there are a couple of significant moves of top level engineers among midfield teams.
Toro Rosso’s technical director Giorgio Ascanelli looks to be headed up the road to Maranello, where he will be reunited with former Benetton colleague Pat Fry, who is now technical director of Ferrari. It’s not known yet what Ascanelli’s role will be at the Scuderia, but he is very strong on both the project side and the operational side, showing some real flair on strategic calls last year in particular. Like most top teams, Ferrari makes its strategy calls from the factory, with head of strategy Neil Martin in charge.
Ascanelli is an old-school, very savvy and seasoned F1 engineer, who was once race engineer for Ayrton Senna at McLaren.
Meanwhile his replacement at Toro Rosso looks likely to be James Key, the Englishman who was technical director at Sauber until he left the team abruptly just before the start of the 2012 season. He has a good reputation for getting plenty of bang for buck in midfield teams and played a crucial role in rescuing Sauber from its post BMW slump.
It now has one of the most competitive cars in the F1 field.