NOVEMBER 22, 1999

...and at Sauber

AS expected for some time there has been a technical reshuffle at Sauber.

AS expected for some time there has been a technical reshuffle at Sauber. The Swiss team hopes that the new engineers will help to improve the performance of the cars and thus ensure that the team retains Petronas sponsorship at the end of the 2000 season.

Technical Director Leo Ress remains in control but he will be joined on January 1 by Argentina's Sergio Rinland. As expected Willy Rampf returns to the team after a spell at BMW and will become the chief race engineer, overseeing MikaÊSalo and Pedro Diniz next year. In addition Belgium's Jacky Eeckelaert moves from Prost to Sauber to become head of the testÊteam.

The 47-year-old Rinland has been working in Formula 1 since 1983 when he joined RAM Automotive. He moved to Williams in 1985 and then to Brabham in 1986. He spent a year as the chief designer with Scuderia Italia in 1988 but returned to Brabham in 1989 and stayed with the team until the end of 1991. He then opened his own design office called Astauto and in 1992 designed the Fondmetal Formula 1. The car was promising but the team closed down before it could be fully developed and after brief spells with Dan Gurney's All American Racers and with Forti Corse he joined Benetton in MarchÊ1996.

Eeckelaert is unusual in that he is one of the few engineers in Formula 1 who is trained and experienced with both chassis and engines. Eeckelaert joined Peugeot Sport as Project Coordinator in 1995 after a successful period running Peugeot's touring car program. He spent 1996 and 1997 overseeing the French firm's relationship with Jordan. When Jordan and Peugeot split, Eeckelaert was offered a job with Prost Grand Prix and spent 1998 as chief engineer with the team. Last year he was disappointed to be put in charge of the Prost test team and so it is no surprise that he has moved on.