Force India will promote Andy Green to the role of technical director following the exit of Mark Smith.
Smith announced earlier this year that he will leave the Silverstone-based squad to join Lotus Racing. But rather than hiring someone from outside, the team has revealed that it will promote engineering director Green, who had previously worked with Virgin and Red Bull Racing.
"When Mark leaves, which will probably be toward the end of this year/early next year, we have Andrew Green, who is going to take his place," said Force India CEO Otmar Szafnauer. "We've made some internal restructuring as well to take up the gap that James [Key] left, and all that will happen at the start of next year. We've got a good plan to overcome the fact that we had two of the key people leave."
Szafnauer is confident that Green is the right man to lead the team from now on.
"Although he is not a big name, he has been around a long time, knows the team well and is a good competent designer/engineer – so he is the ideal man to lead the team in the right direction."
Lotus' technical chief Mike Gascoyne said his team would like for Smith to start working early, but admitted the decision was in Force India's hands.
"We would clearly like to, but the bottom line is that a contract exists between Mark and Force India so that is totally and utterly in their hands," Gascoyne said. "Looking from a practical point of view, you get to a point where you have to ask, do you want the guy to continue doing his job usefully, and if the answer is no then the question is how long you want to continue paying him to be involved.
"Maybe at the sharp end of the grid with big budgets, you will pay someone to sit there for six months doing nothing at home, but does it make sense for teams running off a more tightly controlled budget?"