Unhappy Stepney wants a sabbatical
||Thursday, February 1st 2007, 03:18 GMT
Ferrari's race and test technical manager Nigel Stepney wants to take a year's sabbatical from the team because he is currently unhappy there, this week's Autosport reveals.
Stepney, who has helped play a key role in establishing Ferrari's impressive reliability record since he joined in 1992, is dissatisfied with the staffing changes made at the team since the departure of technical director Ross Brawn.
With Brawn taking a year's sabbatical himself, former head of human resources Mario Almondo has been made technical director, with strategist Luca Baldisserri complementing him at events.
Speaking to Autosport, Stepney admitted he is unhappy within the current technical department.
"I am looking at spending a year away from Ferrari," Stepney told the magazine. "I'm not currently happy with the situation within the team - I really want to move forward with my career and that's something that's not happening right now.
"Ideally, I'd like to move into a new environment here at Ferrari - but if an opportunity arose with another team, I would definitely consider it."
It is suggested that any time off for Stepney could be tied to Brawn's sabbatical, with both potentially returning to the team in 2008.
Brawn is widely speculated to become team principal for the Italian marque next year, with Stepney perhaps taking a more senior technical role at that time.