Scuderia Toro Rosso has appointed James Key as Technical Director. Key has started work at the Italian team's Faenza headquarters on Monday 3 September, and will replace Giorgio Ascanelli who was with the team for the last 5 years.
James Key studied Mechanical Engineering at Nottingham University and after graduating worked for Lotus Engineering. He then joined Jordan Grand Prix in 1998, working first as a data engineer and then as a race engineer. He also worked in the wind tunnel, before becoming head of Vehicle Dynamics. He became technical director in 2005 and retained this role as the team became Midland F1, then Spyker and Force India. In April 2010, he became technical director at Sauber, where he stayed until the early part of this year.
Franz Tost, Team principal:
“With James Key in the role of Technical Director, we start a new chapter in the history of Toro Rosso and I hope it’s an interesting one. James comes to us with a strong reputation and has proved he can help smaller teams punch above their weight. We cannot expect miracles in the next few races, but James has joined early enough to have an influence on our car for 2013, when we hope to have a better season than this one, even if last weekend’s result in Belgium, with both cars in the points, was encouraging.”
“I am very happy to be joining Scuderia Toro Rosso after a few months away from Formula 1. It’s a great opportunity for me to join a team that strikes me as extremely ambitious with a workforce that is very motivated. Even after just a few days, I have sensed, from everyone I have dealt with, an enthusiasm to move the team forward. There are clear opportunities coming up through regulation changes and we intend to look not only at the long term, but the short term too. We will be studying the team’s working practices, throughout all the departments, while looking to see which areas need strengthening further. Our aim has to be to move the team up a level in terms of its position within the F1 hierarchy. Next year’s car project is already well underway and it seems to be going in the right direction and now we have a few months left to ensure it is a step forward from this year’s car. Looking closer to home, there is still some development to come on this year’s STR7 and we will be doing our best to make the most of the remaining eight races with the developments already in the pipeline, all of it coming off the back of a good weekend in Spa.”