Sauber loses Eeckelaert

The word in Switzerland is that Sauber's head of vehicle engineering, test team and research and development, Jacky Eeckelaert is on his way to work for Honda, although it is not clear whether this will be Honda or the new second Honda team. The latter is probably more likely given that BAR has a solid technical management at the moment in Geoff Willis and Gary Savage.

The Belgian engineer has been at Sauber for five years. Eeckelaert is unusual in that he is qualified as both a chassis and a motor engineer. A racing while working with Ford and later Champion, Eeckelaert started out as the team manager of the KTR Formula 3 team in 1985. In 1991 he moved to the DAMS F3000 team and from there to the Danielson team in 1992, running Peugeot 905 sportscars. At the start of 1994 he was offered a job by Peugeot Sport to run the company's French Touring Car Championship operation and after Laurent Aiello had won the championship Peugeot Sport boss Jean-Pierre Jabouille asked Eeckelaert to oversee the Peugeot F1 testing program in 1996. This led to another role as coordinator between Jordan and Peugeot. When Peugeot began a new alliance with Prost GP in 1998 Eeckelaert joined Prost as chief engineer. He moved to Sauber at the start of 2000 where he worked with Jean Alesi and later with Kimi Raikkonen.

Curiously enough we have also heard that Alesi might be involved in the new team in some way but until there is some announcement one way or another we will not know for sure.

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