Hot on the heels of the news that technical director Mike Gascoyne and Toyota had parted company, MF1 Racing has announced that sporting director Adrian Burgess has left the team. Toyota, which supplies MF1 with engines, initially said that...
Hot on the heels of the news that technical director Mike Gascoyne and Toyota had parted company, MF1 Racing has announced that sporting director Adrian Burgess has left the team. Toyota, which supplies MF1 with engines, initially said that Gascoyne had been suspended due to differences of opinion but has now confirmed the working relationship is terminated.
"Although we have reached a joint decision to go our separate ways, I wish to extend my sincerest gratitude to Mike for the indisputable contribution he has made to our team over the last few years," said Toyota chairman Tsutomu Tomita in a statement.
"This separation should in no way undermine the work he has done, nor reflect his technical expertise. We all wish him well for the future." Gascoyne will remain as a Toyota employee until the end of October this year. The team has not said who will replace him.
There have been a few theories as to what exactly caused the rift between Gascoyne and Toyota and one reason, amongst many possible others, is that Gascoyne wants to spend more time with his family. He has been based at the team's headquarters in Germany since the end of 2003, while his family are in Britain.
"Obviously, it is the end of an era but nobody can dispute that Toyota has made a big step forward over the last two seasons," Gascoyne commented. "We have now reached a crossroads in our working relationship and I believe that it is the right time for us to part ways amicably…"
Meanwhile, MF1 cited internal restructuring of its race and test team operations as the reason for Burgess' departure, effective immediately. Trevor Carlin originally held the role of sporting director when the Midland Group took over Jordan but he left abruptly in June 2005 and was replaced by Burgess.
"Adrian's experience and expertise were very helpful to us during the team's transition season," said MF1's managing director Colin Kolles. "We wish him every success as he leaves to pursue other challenges, and we fully expect to see him back in the F1 paddock before too long."
There are usually two sides to every story and speculation has it that Burgess decided to depart after becoming increasingly discontent with MF1. Team manager Andy Stevenson and chief race and test engineer Dominic Harlow will now take over Burgess' duties between them.