There are a few changes worth noting in F1 in recent days. The most interesting is the news that Jorg Zander is not going to design cars for HRT. This would appear to be an indication that the German engineer is not really interested in getting mixed up with a team that does not seem to know where it is going. The team owners want to establish new headquarters in Spain, even though they have been warned against the idea. Zander’s decision should set alarm bells ringing in Madrid.
Over in Switzerland the Sauber team has taken on Willem Toet (again). The Dutchman has been involved in Formula 1, on and off, since 1985 when he first joined the Toleman F1 team and stayed after this became Benetton. He moved to Reynard in 1991 along with a number of other engineers but when the company’s F1 project flopped, they went back to Benetton. He was then poached by Ferrari at the end of 1994 and stayed there for five years as head of aerodynamics before joining British American Racing. He remained there until the end of 2005 when he moved to Sauber and spent four years in Switzerland before joining RML as managing director. That job lasted a year and he is now back in Switzerland looking after the administrative aspects of the programme, leaving Seamus Mallarkey to do the aerodynamic development work.
We also hear that longtime tyre logistics man Peter Grzelinski has parted company with Pirelli. A Clubmans racer in the UK back in the early 1970s, Grzelinski went into the competition tyre business importing M&H tyres from the United States, where the company was a big name in drag racing (and had developed the first slick tyres in the early 1950s). The M&H tyres were supplied to teams in the European F2 championship and in Formula Atlantics and this led to a meeting with Bridgestone’s Hiroshi Yasukawa and a deal to run Bridgestone’s tyre service in Europe from 1983 onwards. When Bridgestone quit F1 at the end of last year Grzelinski moved to Pirelli to perform a similar role.