Ferrari have guaranteed themselves at least some technical stability over the next few years with former chief designer Rory Byrne confirming he will stay on as a consultant for another two years.
Byrne has formed the vital backbone of the design teams that helped propel Michael Schumacher to five of his world championships since he joined Ferrari in 1997.
However, he has made no secret of the fact that he has been looking for a way out of F1 in the near future. He duly planned to hand over design responsibilities to Aldo Costa and retire at the end of 2006, but it was announced earlier this year that he planned to stay on board in a consultancy role.
Sources have confirmed to autosport.com that he has recently given his firm commitment to extending the deal for another two years, which means he will remain at Ferrari until February 2009 at the earliest.
Ferrari bosses are currently finalising their plans for a new-look team, with an announcement due at the end of the season.
Technical director Ross Brawn is planning to take a sabbatical, meaning that Costa, who is head of the Design and Development Department, and chief designer Nicholas Tombazis will take on more responsibility.
Many expect sporting director Jean Todt to commit to at least one more year in charge.
Ferrari are declining to make any comment on their personnel until after the season, but company president Luca di Montezemolo said at the Italian Grand Prix that his plans for the new organisation would include a mixture of new and old faces.
"We want to maintain an important stability with some new entrants," he said. "If you look back over the last 10 years, Ferrari has done some not so big, but still important, injections of fresh air in the team. This is for me important.
"We want to maintain stability, maintain the spirit and maintain the group of 80 - 90 percent of people who will stay with the team.
"Having said that, this year is particularly important because many, many contracts will expire after so many years. So I am looking for a good balance between innovation and stability."