Monza, Sept 6, 2012 (AFP) - Toro Rosso have confirmed that Giorgio Ascanelli has resigned from his post as the team's technical director and will be replaced by James Key.
Rumours of Ascanelli's departure had been circulating ever since he had not attended the German Grand prix in July, and was understood to have been frustrated by the team's development strategy and progress.
Toro Rosso Team principal Franz Tost confirmed the Italian had left the team.
He said: "Over a period of almost five years, Giorgio has contributed positively to the development of our team.
"Especially in the difficult transition period from a simple racing team to a fully-fledged constructor he made an important contribution and his undoubted experience was very valuable to us. We would like to thank him for his efforts and wish him all the best for the future."
Tost later confirmed that former Sauber technical chief James Key would replace Ascanelli as technical director.
Tost said he believes Key's arrival would mark the start of a new era for the Italian team.
"With James Key in the role of technical director, we start a new chapter in the history of Toro Rosso and I hope it's an interesting one," he said.
"James comes to us with a strong reputation and has proved he can help smaller teams punch above their weight." added later.
The englishman key commented on his new appointment: “I am very happy to be joining Scuderia Toro Rosso after a few months away from Formula One,”
“It’s a great opportunity for me to join a team that strikes me as extremely ambitious with a workforce that is very motivated. Even after just a few days, I have sensed, from everyone I have dealt with, an enthusiasm to move the team forward.”