Mark Smith, Caterham, Hungaroring, 2012

Sauber appoints Smith as technical director

2015 F1 season

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Mark Smith, Caterham, Hungaroring, 2012Sauber has appointed Mark Smith as its new technical director.

Smith joins the team from the defunct Caterham squad, where he held the same role. He had also previously been technical director at Red Bull, Force India and Jordan.

He is in the process of relocating to Switzerland and will begin work at the team’s base in Hinwil on July 13th, Smith will take responsibility for organising the team’s technical committee.

Team principal Monisha Kaltenborn said it was important for the team to appoint someone who appreciated the team’s position in Formula One.

“Mark Smith is an engineer with a lot of experience in Formula One,” said Kaltenborn. “Above all, he knows the environment in which privateer teams must work and the challenges that are there – and how important it is to keep calm and keep things in perspective.”

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Keith Collantine
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  • 21 comments on “Sauber appoints Smith as technical director”

    1. “Above all, he knows the environment in which privateer teams must work and the challenges that are there – and how important it is to keep calm and keep things in perspective.”

      Not the words you will want to hear from the TP on appointment of a new TD. Hope Sauber are able to get more points this year and have some sponsors for 2016 to get to financial stability.

      Retaining Nasr and getting another Nasr will also help.

      1. @evered7 my thoughts exactly. If the thing that Sauber are looking for is how to manage costs, then they’ve lost before they have even begun.

        1. @evered, oh dear .. Sauber picking up Maldonado after he gets kicked out of Lotus at the end of the year…

          1. I hope Manor picks up Maldonado. They could use the money to jump Mclaren in the standings, and no midfield seat is wasted on a driver of Maldonado’s calibre

      2. @me4me @todfod For that precise reason you have quoted, I would like them to take Maldonado. He might break a lot of cars but comes with money and all he wants to do is drive.

        The 2015 Ferrari engine seems strong with additional updates to arrive at Monza. Can’t see why teams won’t take a shot with Mad Mal.

      3. Yes, it makes it rather obvious that Smith is good at getting a solid package out of a shoe string budget (he did a very solid job with that at FI in the past), although I do think that Sauber could do with a bit of that, as so far they have never looked likely to get a good chassis going in recent years.

    2. I thought Mark Smith had been pretty much found out by what happened to Caterham.

      1. My thoughts exactly. He was given a fairly decent budget at caterham/lotus to start with, yet never really got close to the midfield. The ct05 was a complete disaster, and not a great showcase of your most recent work.

        1. He was given a fairly decent budget at caterham/lotus to start with

          Money alone won’t guarantee you’ll have a decent car, it takes a bit more than just that.

          1. Having the right people will though which is exactly what i’m getting at. He was technical director, meaning he was in charge of getting the right people and resources, which he obviously failed at.

            1. @jdc123 @lockup Yep, and Newey was fired from March, so? One swallow doesn’t make a summer and one failure to save a sinking ship doesn’t destroy a career of a well-respected F1 engineer who had been succesful at other teams beforehand.

            2. @jdc123 @toiago None of us know what went on at Caterham’s factory, so none of us are in a position to say.

            3. He might be a great engineer @montreal95, but has he succeeded as a technical director? I don’t think so. And even as an engineer he was part of the Renault dream team and afaik hasn’t been a star on his own.

              Not that I don’t wish him well.

          2. @lockup Prior to Caterham, Smith held the role of technical director only twice-in 2006 at Red Bull and 2008-2011 at Force India

            in 2006 he was moderately successful but with the arrival of Newey had to leave
            At FI he succeeded to move a team that couldn’t score a point at all to regular point scorers and midfield
            that was the path Caterham needed to undertake as well and the success at a similar job at FI has convinced them to hire Smith. His failure at the task is well documented but how much is it up to him is anybody’s guess. The conditions were wildly different. FI was just a 20 year-old Jordan team with a new name. Caterham was a completely new team that had to build itself from zero

            I’m sure Sauber(who are incidentally an old team too with much better infrastructure than FI) asked themselves that question too and have decided that Smith’s success prior to Caterham is more telling than his failure there

            1. Fair enough I hope you’re right @montreal95. Sauber were spot on with James Key of course, so they have form I guess.

    3. I heard that 3 other technical professionals and Giedo van der Garde already hold contracts for the Technical Director role.

      1. best comment) I LOLed

    4. These types of hiring especially half way through the season baffles me.

      1. @icemangrins Why? Clearly the time is now to develop next year’s car. A Tech. director at this stage can still make a contribution by consolidation of efforts and improving the focus

      2. Its makes a lot of sense. His ties with Caterham probably ended december last year when the team closed shop, so then half a year is a reasonable period between. And its just in time to have some influence on next years car before that gets set in stone in a month or 2 from now @icemangrins

    5. If he’s supposed to be some sort of replacement for Willem Toet I’m not impressed.

    Comments are closed.