James Key joins Toro Rosso as technical director

2012 F1 season

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Toro Rosso has announced James Key has joined them as their new technical director.

The news comes one day after the team confirmed the departure of former technical director Giorgio Ascanelli.

Key, who left Sauber in February, started work for the team at the beginning of this week. “I am very happy to be joining Scuderia Toro Rosso after a few months away from Formula 1,” he said.

“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.”

Team principal Franz Tost said: “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.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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8 comments on “James Key joins Toro Rosso as technical director”

  1. I think this may be F1’s worst-kept secret since Alonso joined Ferrari

    1. I wonder if this move could be an audition for a possible upward move to RBR. Perhaps they’re worried of the day Newey decides to retire?

  2. Seeing the sort of work he did at Sauber, well it seems the Toro Rosso boys should have a better shot at scoring some good points, maybe a podium position soon. Sadly for me, as a Caterham fan, this will mean a harder time getting into the points.

  3. That’s an odd move for me. He left Sauber, a small-ish foreign team on a tight budget, to join Torro Rosson, a small-ish foreign team on a tight budget. The only reasoning I can think is that he is aiming for a job at Red Bull, otherwise this seems like a step sideways rather than forwards.

    1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
      6th September 2012, 12:51

      I think he’s just making up for a missed gap year ;)

    2. I believe the intention is to audition him for a potential Newey replacement. Is he up to it? I don’t know. His success so far has generally been getting the best out of a tight budget – that says nothing of his big-budget skills.

  4. Teams keep exchanging Keys.

  5. Next season could be an interesting one between Sauber and Toro Rosso. They both run Ferrari engines, next years Sauber will no doubt be a development of the C31 and next years Toro Rosso will be another James Key design. Whether or not they will be in direct competition I don’t know, that depends on the drivers.

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