Toro Rosso loses chief race engineer – reports

Scuderia Toro Rosso’s chief race engineer Phil Charles is reportedly set to leave the team, according to reports from Italy.

Charles has not travelled with the team to the US for this weekend’s Grand Prix at the circuit of the Americas, reports Formula One commentator James Allen.

It’s understood that Charles’ decision to leave is not due to any differences with the team, but rather that his young family no longer wish to live in Italy and would prefer to move back to Britain.

Charles was coming to the end of a three-year contract with the team. He works closely with the team’s technical director James Key, who himself has been under sustained speculation this season that he’s being courted by other teams in the paddock including Red Bull, Renault, McLaren and Williams.

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There have also been rumours that McLaren’s chief engineer Ciaron Pilbeam might be tempted to move to Renault in 2017, with Fernando Alonso’s senior engineer Andrea Stella tipped to take over Pilbeam’s current position.

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