Scuderia Toro Rosso looks to have a fight on its hands if it is to hang onto its highly-regarded technical director Giorgio Ascanelli, it appears, with Ferrari at the head of the queue of rival teams chasing the Italian's services for 2010 and beyond.

Ascanelli's illustrious Formula 1 career has taken in stints at leading outfits Ferrari, Benetton and McLaren, helping to engineer some of the legendary Ayrton Senna's most memorable victories in his time spent at the multiple world championship-winning Woking-based concern in 1992 and 1993.

Though STR team principal Franz Tost is adamant that 'we have a contract with Giorgio' - who similarly helped to mastermind Sebastian Vettel's extraordinary and history-making Italian Grand Prix triumph at Monza last September - Ascanelli is understood to be in demand at a number of front-running teams and to have received offers from several of them.

Red Bull's 'junior' squad has endured a troubled start to the 2009 campaign in the top flight, however, with just five points to its name from the opening six outings and no finish better than rookie S?bastien Buemi's seventh place in the curtain-raising Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

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