Latest F1 news in brief – 2

  • Key unlocking 'small restructuring' at Sauber
  • Senna not as good as uncle says Brundle
  • Buemi tests Toro Rosso, applauds Alguersuari's progress
  • Cautious approach pays off for Toro Rosso's engines
  • Virgin confirms only one modified car for Glock

Key unlocking 'small restructuring' at Sauber
(GMM) One of James Key's first tasks as technical director will be to oversee a "small restructuring" of the struggling Sauber team.

In the wake of former owner BMW's departure and founder Peter Sauber's return as privateer, the Hinwil based squad has struggled notably with the pace and reliability of the C29.

Key, newly arrived in long time technical director Willy Rampf's wake, said on Monday he has completed his initial analysis after switching from Force India.

"It requires a slightly new approach to the way certain areas work to make better use of the size the team is now," he said.

"In the short term there is going to be a small restructuring within the technical group, which I have just started instigating.

"This should allow the team to be more in tune with the smaller organization it is now, particularly in terms of the efficiency of its operation," added Key.

Senna not as good as uncle says Brundle
(GMM) Bruno Senna is not as good as his late uncle, but Martin Brundle thinks a deeper analysis of the Brazilian rookie's performance so far would be unfair.

Brundle, who had a fierce battle with eventual triple world champion Ayrton Senna for the British F3 title in 1983, is now observing 26-year-old Bruno's rookie season as commentator for British television BBC.

The Briton concedes it is "spooky" to note the physical similarities between uncle and nephew, particularly with the helmet visor up.

"Senna is a fine young driver and seems a very good human being," said Brundle.

"His GP2 performance suggests that he is worthy of a chance in F1 but it is fair to say he doesn't appear to have the potential of his late uncle Ayrton," he added.

But Brundle warned that Senna, who was considered for the Brawn seat alongside Jenson Button last year, cannot be judged too harshly in 2010.

"Given the Hispania car that he is driving, it is virtually impossible to make any further judgment at this time," he said.

Buemi tests Toro Rosso, applauds Buemi's progress
(GMM) Giancarlo Fisichella was not the only F1 driver in action at the Vairano circuit in Italy last week.

While Ferrari reserve Fisichella was trying Ferrari's updated F-duct solution and the Barcelona package, the other Italian based team Toro Rosso was also conducting an aerodynamic straight line test.

Swiss youngster Sebastien Buemi was at the wheel of the STR5.

"The aim was a bit more long-term, looking at developments for a bit later in the season," he said on Monday.

The media focus in Barcelona this weekend will be more on Jaime Alguersuari, and Buemi applauds the 20-year-old Spaniard's improvement in 2010.

"He has improved a lot and is much faster and therefore able to provide much better feedback," said Buemi. "This is entirely positive, as it means we can work together better to move the car forward."

Team boss Franz Tost is also happy with Alguersuari's progress since he replaced Sebastien Bourdais during last season.

"He discovered how much he had to learn and the level of commitment required to become a successful formula one driver.

"He was clever enough to understand this and therefore he put himself through a very intensive and disciplined testing and physical training program and everyone in the team is impressed by his progress," added Tost.

Cautious approach pays off for Toro Rosso's engines
(GMM) Toro Rosso might have employed a "more cautious approach" in 2010 than F1's other Ferrari powered teams.

So far this season, several Maranello-built V8s have suffered problems during the grand prix weekends, both in the rear of the works cars and also those of the customer team Sauber.

But with a much cleaner bill of engine health in 2010 so far is Toro Rosso, the Faenza based team that has been using Ferrari power for the past four years.

"It is possible that we have adopted a more cautious approach in the way we manage the engines," team boss Franz Tost said on Monday.

"This does not mean we can afford to be complacent as engine failures are always a possibility," he added.

Virgin confirms only one modified car for Glock
(GMM) Virgin on Monday confirmed reports that the Icelandic volcano spoiled the new team's preparations for the Spanish grand prix.

We reported two weeks ago that because team personnel were stranded in Shanghai, the teams plans to debut two heavily modified cars in Barcelona this weekend might be affected.

With FIA clearance, Virgin has been busily designing a new chassis to accommodate a fuel tank big enough to take its cars to the end of races.

Because the sport's freight was held up for several days in China, the new British team only had a single VR-01 monocoque to work on at its UK factory.

In a statement on Monday, Virgin said it would have needed the "three full weeks of manufacture, homologation and race preparation" to get two modified cars up and running for both Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi in Spain.

"As a consequence, Virgin Racing will debut only one revised chassis in the Spanish grand prix this weekend, which Timo Glock will put through its paces," read the statement.

Glock commented: "I have done some work in the simulator in preparation for this race and we have a good idea of what to expect from the modified chassis, so I'm looking forward to seeing how we shape up when we hit the track in Barcelona this week."

Technical director Nick Wirth admitted that running the two fundamentally different specifications of cars in Spain "will certainly challenge the team".

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