Sauber sign Xevi Pujolar

We were just speaking of Scuderia Toro Rosso on last night’s podcast and in particular, we mentioned the fact that chief brain, James Key, has to be on a lot of short lists to replace Kim…I mean any technical wonk at teams like Ferrari and others. The fact that his chassis design has been on par with the top dogs means that internally, he has to be on a short list for Red Bull itself let alone another team.

While STR boss Franz Tost says that he has a contract and he’s a “gentleman” and would honor that deal, it does makes me wonder if the half-baked defense of James Key by Tost is signaling a serious potential of him leaving?

Today it was announced that Xevi Pujolar, Max Verstappen’s former race engineer at Toro Rosso, would be joining Sauber as head of track engineering. Pujolar left Toro Rosso back in May when Max was promoted to Red Bull and some say there was a disagreement between himself and STR boss Tost.

I’m not suggesting that Key would return to Sauber where he spent some time but Pujolar’s departure from the team seemed odd at the time and Tost’s defense of Key’s remaining seemed more based in litigious ramifications more so than he’s all in and loves the team.

Pujolar will bring much-needed grey matter to Sauber who seems to be in a restructuring format at the moment with their new investors and it will be interesting to see if they add any other key personnel. They do have some wonderful folks in Hinwil but adding key roles that they lost due to financial constraint will be paramount to moving back in the right direction.

Pujolar’s position had been vacant since the departure of Tim Maylon and he was only there three months.

Sauber:

The Sauber F1 Team is pleased to confirm the appointment of Xevi Pujolar as new Head of Track Engineering. The 43-year old Catalan started at the Sauber F1 Team headquarters in Hinwil after the summer break and will work in this capacity  from the Singapore Grand Prix onwards. Pujolar has worked for several Formula 1 teams; previously he worked as Senior Race Engineer at Scuderia Toro Rosso. Paul Russell, who is in the role of Chief Race Engineer on an interim basis, will be back in his previous position as Head of Performance Integration.