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Welti leaves Sauber

MAX WELTI, the team director of Sauber Petronas, has left the Swiss team. His role is to be taken over by Peter Sauber himself. Sauber said that he had decided to resume more direct responsibility for the running of the team, after two and half years in which Welti has run operations, and that left Welti without a role.

"For many years we have worked together in a relationship marked by success and friendship," Sauber said. "With his great experience and everlasting commitment Max Welti has achieved a lot for our team, for which I would like to express my deepest gratitude."

As part of the management shake-up Sauber has promoted chief designer Leo Ress to the job of technical director, a role he has been fulfilling for several years.

The highly-rated Welti is unlikely to be out of work for long in Grand Prix racing. Having worked for Sauber throughout the 1980s - coordinating the Sauber-Mercedes sportscar programs - Max moved to Porsche in 1990 to run the company's F1 project. He stayed at Porsche until May 1995 when he returned to Sauber. Before going back to Hinwil, however, he had talks with at least three other F1 teams, including McLaren.

In recent months Welti has also been mentioned as a possible team leader for the BMW Motorsport Formula 1 program.

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