Former McLaren Technical Director James Key will join the Sauber Group to bolster Audi transition as the German manufacturer ramps up its preparation for its works entry in 2026.
With the Sauber Motorsport preparing to become a works team with Audi in 2026, the organization is constantly taking crucial step towards its entry. In January 2023, Andreas Seidl has been appointed their new Group CEO. The former McLaren Team Principal is set to oversee Audi's entry to Formula 1 in 2026.
Sauber Motorsport has now announced that Key, who has more than 25 years’ worth of experience in Formula One, will join the Hinwil squad on September 1st, 2023, taking over the position from Jan Monchaux.
Key began his F1 career with Jordan Grand Prix where he covered various engineering roles, including race engineer. In 2005, the Briton became Formula One’s youngest-ever Technical Director, at the age of 33; and he retained that position as the team became Midland F1, Spyker F1 and eventually Force India.
He then joined the Sauber F1 Team as Technical Director for the 2010 season before becoming the Technical Director at Scuderia Toro Rosso. He then made the move to McLaren Racing ahead of the 2019 season where he took on the role of Technical Director under the direction of then-Team Principal, Andreas Seidl.
Sauber Group CEO Andreas Seidl commented: “I am delighted to welcome James back home to Hinwil as he joins us to shape the future of this team. The operation he will find has changed a lot since his time here, but the same drive, the same commitment that contributed to making the team successful in his previous experience are still the same: I am sure that, together with this very talented and committed team, we will be able to continue on the path of growth on which we have embarked.
“James’s appointment is a crucial step on this journey: he has an outstanding amount of experience in the sport, not just as Technical Director, but also in various other roles within the technical organisation of a team. He will lead the transformation process of the technical side of the team, giving us the tools and direction we need to tackle the future.
"I also want to thank Jan for his precious contribution to taking Sauber to where it is now, following our most successful season in a decade, in which we climbed to sixth place in the Constructors’ Championship," concluded Seidl.
NEWS: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake announces that James Key will join the team as its Technical Director, starting on September 1st, 2023.— Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake (@alfaromeostake) June 7, 2023
James’s appointment is a statement of intent for the team as Sauber Motorsport prepares to become a works team in 2026.
Read more. ⬇️
James Key added: “I am delighted to be returning to Hinwil to work with old, and new, colleagues at Sauber; I have very fond memories of my time there before. I am looking forward to leading the technical side of the team at one of the most critical junctures of its long history as we head towards a new and exciting future.
“There is a huge amount of work ahead of us, but I am confident that every single member of our team working in Hinwil will have the commitment, determination and hunger to get us to the top.
"We know it will require time, effort and perseverance, and the dividends from this work will only arrive over the next two seasons and beyond, but we have a journey ahead of us and a roadmap to follow which I am eager to get started. I am grateful to Andreas for the confidence he has placed in me and look forward to repaying his trust and working closely with him on the challenges and ambitions ahead," Key concluded.