Slowly but surely the details surrounding the unrest within Scuderia Toro Rosso are emerging. Helmut Marko has been seen by the German press as wanting to create more calm within the team, by swapping Daniil Kvyat and Max Verstappen. According to these sources, this is due to the Dutch and Spanish camps within Toro Rosso have had some arguments in recent months, meaning the situation within the team had become unsustainable.
It has been common knowledge in the paddock that within Toro Rosso there have always been two camps; Verstappen and Sainz. The team exists primarily of Italian and British employees. During the Singapore Grand Prix in 2015, Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen had a falling-out over a team order and one week later in Japan, their race engineers of had a further argument, again with regards to team orders. This created a great rift between the two camps.
The in-house fighting between Sainz and Verstappen did not improve during the winter and flared-up immediately during the first Grand Prix of the season in Australia. It now appears that this battle has claimed it’s first victim in the form of Xevi Pujolar, Max Verstappens senior race-engineer at Toro Rosso. F1Today.net can exclusively report that he has been fired by the Italian squad.
The Spaniard, who had a great working relationship with the 18 year old Dutchman, of whom he often spoke in admiration, will not be allowed to join Verstappen at Red Bull Racing to continue his role. He will also not fulfill the role of race-engineer for Daniil Kvyat.
Instead the Toro Rosso team leadership has decided to fire Pujolar, hoping to create calm within the team and ensuring a fresh start for Kvyat and Sainz. With the theory of a better cooperation between the two Toro Rosso drivers. Former Manor Team Principal, John Booth was appointed last week as ‘Director of Racing’ and consultant to the team, he now has task of creating renewed harmony in the Italian-based outfit.
I did really enjoy and feel really proud of the work I did with @ToroRossoSpy ????✌️now time to get ready for the next challenge! Grazie Faenza— Xevi Pujolar (@xevipujolar) May 5, 2016