Sauber sorry for departing Rampf after Sepang 'debacle'

Peter Sauber said he felt most sorry for departing technical boss Willy Rampf in the wake of the Swiss team's Malaysian "debacle". After a deceptively impressive winter season for the formerly BMW-owned squad, the C29 car has struggled for pace...

Peter Sauber said he felt most sorry for departing technical boss Willy Rampf in the wake of the Swiss team's Malaysian "debacle".

After a deceptively impressive winter season for the formerly BMW-owned squad, the C29 car has struggled for pace so far in 2010.

On the grid formation laps at Sepang, Pedro de la Rosa's Ferrari-powered car suffered an engine failure, and teammate Kamui Kobayashi's V8 unit lasted just 9 laps more.

Malaysia was 56-year-old German Rampf's last race at the helm, with former Force India technical director James Key, 38, starting work on 1 April.

"I feel most sorry for Willy Rampf. For nearly 15 years he was our loyal technical boss, and at his very last race he has to live through such a debacle," 66-year-old team chief and founder Sauber told the Swiss newspaper Blick.

"Until the last day he fought for our team, and I know how much these losses affect him, even if he cannot do anything about it," he added.

Ferrari is investigating the precise cause of the two engine failures, but Sauber said on Sunday that the problem was with the pneumatic system.

The failure aboard Fernando Alonso's works Ferrari, meanwhile, was different.

F1's three new teams aside, Sauber is the only entrant yet to score a single world championship point in 2010.

Peter Sauber, who is still looking for a main sponsor for his Hinwil based team, said: "Yes, it is our worst ever position.

"I knew that it would not be easy for us, but I didn't count on it being quite so hard," he added.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Pedro de la Rosa , Fernando Alonso , Peter Sauber , Kamui Kobayashi
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , Force India