Sauber says that dissatisfaction on both sides led to last week’s surprise announcement that technical director James Key was leaving the team.
Key will not be replaced, and instead the team will rely on its existing structure, with chief designer Matt Morris taking on the role of spokesmen at today’s launch of the C31.
“For a while both sides have been feeling that things have not really been working out, and also not the way both sides expected it,” said Sauber CEO Monisha Kaltenborn. “So I guess this situation is now the result of that. James Key joined us at a time when we were in the transformation from a works team to a private team, and his contribution was very valuable to the team.
“We’re thankful to him for that. We now have a structure in place that we are confident about, that is the right one for the team to go ahead. So it’s not any short term solution for us, but a long term structure.”
Key has already said that he will be taking up a job in the UK. Asked by this blog to clarify when he decided to leave and his gardening leave situation, Kalternborn said: “Like I said before, for a while both sides have had the feeling that the expectations are not just coming in.
“About gardening leave, these are details we will not discuss in public, but we will now be very shortly maybe saying something about it, or he will. He is still in the company, and we will decide on the details.”