Giorgio Ascanelli has resigned from his post as technical director at Scuderia Toro Rosso, the team has confirmed.

Ascancelli has been absent from the F1 paddock since the German Grand Prix back in July, when the team said he was 'on holiday'. That fuelled speculation of a rift and confirmation of his exit on Wednesday - along with the appointment of James Key as his replacement today [see separate story - HERE] - has been expected for some time.

"Over a period of almost five years, Giorgio has contributed positively to the development of our team, especially in the difficult transition period from a simple racing team to a fully-fledged constructor, when he made an important contribution and his undoubted experience was very valuable to us. We would like to thank him for his efforts and wish him all the best for the future," said Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost

Ascanelli meanwhile has wished the team the 'very best' for the future: "I've enjoyed the past years working at Scuderia Toro Rosso," he added. "It has been a very intense and interesting time, in which we had to manage the transition from a small team to a much larger one, and everybody has put a lot of effort to bring us where we are today.

"We have sown the seeds for a successful future and I think the team challenge is now to gain a stable presence in the upper mid-field and I wish all at Toro Rosso the very best for the future."