Sauber technical reshuffle 'a smart move' - Felipe Nasr

Sauber Formula 1 driver Felipe Nasr believes Mark Smith's appointment as technical director is a "smart" move that is the beginning of the solution to the team's problems

Sauber technical reshuffle 'a smart move' - Felipe Nasr

After double points finishes in two of the opening three races, Sauber's form has slipped over the course of the season.

The Swiss team has been struggled in the development race and is pinning its hopes on an expected engine upgrade for the Belgian Grand Prix and a chassis update for Singapore in September.

Smith is the team's first technical director since James Key left for Toro Rosso in 2012 and Nasr is hoping the ex-Red Bull, Caterham and Force India man's arrival will give a fresh assessment of where the car is.

"I feel bringing in a new technical director to overview the bigger picture of our car and direct the team on which areas we have to work on in the short, medium and the long term is the beginning of the solution," said Nasr.

"It was a smart move from the team but we need to give time for these things to work."

Marcus Ericsson briefly worked with Smith during their time at Caterham last season and he sees the appointment as a good move.

"My experience with Mark is positive," Ericsson told AUTOSPORT.

"If you look at his experience he's been around for a long time and experience like that is very valuable for a team like ours.

"As a team, they tried to find a guy who can help lead the team in the right direction.

"It's positive from a driver's point of view to see that everyone is pushing and trying to go in the right direction."

Team principal Monisha Kaltenborn says Sauber will keep its structure of having a technical committee with Smith taking responsibility over certain areas to improve efficiency.

"As a private team, particularly when rule changes come up or in our case to make improvement on the car, it is quite a demanding task when you have few people," she said.

"We will keep the structure and he'll in be in charge of tasks which are over-arching in these particular areas.

"This will allow for capacity to be released from different heads of this committee and they can focus more on what they're specialised in."

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