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Alfa Sauber strengthens Ferrari ties with new F1 technical director

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Alfa Sauber strengthens Ferrari ties with new F1 technical director
May 28, 2018, 10:11 PM

The closening ties between Ferrari and Alfa Romeo Sauber are in evidence again as Simone Resta will move across from the Scuderia to take up the ro...

The closening ties between Ferrari and Alfa Romeo Sauber are in evidence again as Simone Resta will move across from the Scuderia to take up the role of technical director.

Resta was designated chief designer at Ferrari when James Allison was technical director and Mattia Binotto was in charge of engines. When Allison was ousted, Binotto became technical director and Resta has been Head of Vehicle Project Coordination latterly, overseeing the design.

His Ferraris have put the team back at the races in the last few years, so this is a significant move, to switch him to the junior team.

It also shows what Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne thinks of his Alfa Sauber 'project'. Alfa Romeo is a brand he very much wants to boost on the world stage hence his decision to bring it back to F1, albeit only at a branding level. It's not Alfa technology in the cars.

This move strengthens Marchionne's grip on Sauber and there is much speculation in Italy about what this means for the future, beyond the end of next year, when he is due to retire from FCA, the parent company of FIAT, Ferrari and Alfa Romeo.

Ferrari announced that Resta is leaving Maranello to take up the post. He moves in on July 1, replacing Jorg Zander, who left the team under mysterious circumstances last month.

Sauber has benefitted from close technical collaboration with Ferrari this season, with up to date engine, gearbox and other technical and commercial support as well as supplying Ferrari junior driver Charles Leclerc, who scored back to back points in Baku and Spain, something Sauber has not done for three years.

This is a team on the move and the arrival of Resta, whose Ferrari cars have won races, shores up that relationship.

Ferrari also has a technical collaboration with Haas F1 team, but they will be looking at the rise of Sauber with some concern.

“Simone Resta has the best profile to take on the role of Technical Director. His arrival at Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team marks a significant step ahead of a long term project that aims at strengthening the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team in order to achieve ambitious results,” said Team Principal Fred Vasseur.

Resta joins a strengthened technical team, with former McLaren and Toro Rosso engineer Luca Furbatto the head of design.

Later this year former FIA deputy race director Laurent Mekies will join Ferrari in a yet to be specified role. The chassis design will fall under Fabio Montecchi, Enrico Cardile and David Sanchez.

All photos: Motorsport Images

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Series Formula 1
Teams Sauber