Jordan loses technical director

Jordan technical director Mark Smith is reported to have left the team just days after it was taken over by Alex Shnaider's Midland Group. The highly rated designer had only officially returned to Jordan from Renault two months ago, but resigned from his position on Friday morning

Jordan loses technical director

Sources close to the team told autosport.com that Smith left a phone message with Jordan's new management yesterday announcing his decision not to remain with the team into the Midland era.

Smith is not the only member of Jordan's technical team to have departed since Midland took control at the start of the week. It is understood that some of Jordan's senior mechanics, engineers and aerodynamic staff have also left in recent days - some of them declared surplus to requirements by Midland, others choosing to quit the team. Members of Midland sporting director Trevor Carlin's Formula 3 squad are currently being employed to fill vacant roles at Jordan.

Although Midland already has a design deal with Dallara, so would not necessarily have required Smith's services in 2006, the team is relying on Jordan's existing designs for 2005. Jordan is switching from Ford to Toyota engines this year and was expected to start the season with a modified 2004 chassis before introducing improvements as the year progressed - a process Smith was expected to oversee.

In an interview with autosport.com as recently as Friday, outgoing team boss Eddie Jordan spoke highly of Smith and the contribution he could make to the new management.

"Mark Smith has been successful everywhere," said Jordan. "He's great to have back."

Although the exact contractual details are unknown, it is conceivable that Smith's next move could be to Toyota, where he would rejoin former Renault colleague Mike Gascoyne - now the Japanese team's technical director. When Gascoyne left Renault for Toyota he did so on the understanding that he would not take any of the existing design team with him - as had happened when he moved from Jordan to Renault in 2000 and designers Smith and Tim Densham followed him. This clause may no longer apply with regard to Smith as he had worked for another team, albeit briefly, since leaving Renault.

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