Toro Rosso to announce Key as Ascanelli successor

James Key (GBR) Sauber Technical Director in the FIA Press Conference. Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, European Grand Prix, Practice Day, Valencia, Spain, Friday 24 June 2011.Aug.24 (GMM) Daniel Ricciardo has hinted that Giorgio Ascanelli’s successor at Toro Rosso could be announced soon, with the role expected to be filled by the former Sauber man, 40-year-old Briton James Key.

We reported last month that technical director Ascanelli was absent and officially on ‘holiday’ during the recent German and Hungarian grands prix, with Key earmarked to take over the vacated position at the Red Bull owned squad…

“(I don’t know) Whether it’s something that will get resolved over the break,” Australian news agency AAP quotes Toro Rosso driver Ricciardo as saying.

“Maybe it [Ascanelli's departure] came at a good time and [with] some time off everyone can rethink. Maybe it will be good and, come to Spa, maybe everything will be normal again – or there could be some changes,” added Ricciardo.

Writing in Germany’s Speed Week, Peter Hesseler suggested Key could start his new job at Toro Rosso on 1 September.

Auto Motor und Sport suggests that Ascanelli split with Toro Rosso following disagreements about team strategy and the development direction of the car.

After ousting its established drivers Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari last year, Toro Rosso has scored just 6 points so far in 2012 with newcomers Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne.

“Are the drivers too inexperienced, or is the car bad?” wondered AM&S. “The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.”

Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko, the architect of Toro Rosso’s new lineup, seems to have exonerated the drivers.

“If it rains, they are quick,” said the Austrian. “This shows that they are on it.

“The engineers went in the wrong direction with the development of the exhaust,” said Marko.

Subbed by AJN.

  • Sohail Khan

    Toro Rosso have done themselves no harm by signing James Key whose design is the fantastic Sauber C31.
    Let’s hope Toro Rosso starts closing the gap to teams like Williams and Force India whose technical director Andrew Green is nothing more than a donkey.