Fernando Alonso leaving Renault for McLaren in 2007 is not the only departure in F1 circles, as two other well known names have parted company with their teams with more immediate effect. Designer Gustav Brunner and Toyota have gone their separate ways and Gian Carlo Minardi has left the team he founded.
Brunner joined Toyota from Minardi in 2001 as chief designer but the Cologne-based outfit has since organised its chassis department into three groups and has decided the role is now redundant.
"With three groups running in parallel, one focusing on the current car, one concentrating on the next stage of development and the third looking at advanced design, the position of chief designer has become obsolete," said a team spokesperson, according to Reuters.
Speculation has it that Brunner may return to Faenza with Toro Rosso, Minardi's new incarnation. Meanwhile, Gian Carlo Minardi has said goodbye to Formula One after more than two decades in the sport. He founded Minardi in 1979 and entered F1 in 1985. The team was taken over by Paul Stoddart in 2001, who continued to employ Minardi.
Red Bull bought Minardi this year and has renamed it Scuderia Toro Rosso. Reportedly Minardi said there was "a lack of common ground with the new team owners to carry on working". He and Red Bull apparently could not come to an agreement about what role he would have.