Nasr bemoans loss of Smith at Sauber

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Felipe Nasr says Mark Smith's departure as Sauber technical director is "a shame" for the team as there is still so much room for improvement.

Smith was appointed technical director only last summer, but Sauber confirmed the former Red Bull, Force India and Caterham man had left the team "for family reasons" ahead of the start of the season. Nasr says Smith's exit comes as a blow with this year's car having only just been launched.

"It's a shame because I think Mark was doing a very good job in the team since he came in, leading the project with the C35," Nasr said. "I admired his work. He was a great addition to the team and it was a shame to see him leaving that early because there is still room for improvement in the development of the car and he was the person to be leading that.

"I'm sure the team is looking for someone else to replace him as soon as they can."

And Nasr admits it is likely to have an impact on the way Sauber develops its car this season, even if he feels Smith has left the team on the right path.

"I think we know most of it, this direction, has been done. We have planned out what the things we should do are, but it is also true to say that when you have the car running you have a better reading of what has to be implemented, which area has to have priority. Someone in his position was able to see that ... [Technical leadership] is a must for any team."

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