Sauber Formula 1 Team’s Technical Head Jörg Zander Jumps Ship
After less than 18 months with the Swiss team, Sauber waves goodbye to Zander.
Two winters and one full Formula 1 season. After being hired at Sauber, technical director Jörg Zander exited the resurgent team after it posted its best race result, P6, since the 2015 Russian Grand Prix. This development came via the team's media arm Wednesday.
Motorsport reported earlier this year on a lack of expertise and resources within the team's technical department, which it speculates to be related. Sauber is limited in size by its small budget relative to top teams, despite taking on Alfa Romeo as a title sponsor with its integration of current-spec Ferrari engines, rather than its 2016-spec engines run in 2017.
The reason for Zander's departure is not yet known, and no reason was given in the team's press release. Team principal and CEO Frédéric Vasseur assumed the lead of developing the team's 2018 car, the C37, and its 2019 contender, presumed to be named the C38.
Zander's exodus came less than a week after McLaren performed a technical restructuring of its own, with Autosport reporting team chassis design lead Tim Goss as displaced from his position. Goss has been with McLaren since 1990 at various positions, and the closely spaced exits of two technical leads has some speculating as to whether Zander is McLaren-bound. The Drive reached out to McLaren for information on whether the team had any contact with Zander, but the team declined to comment on its situation.
"McLaren confirms it is undergoing a review of its technical operations as part of its programme to return the team to success," stated a team spokesperson. "This is a proactive, ongoing process that addresses a broad range of factors across the organisation. More details will be given in due course."