Scuderia Toro Rosso has announced that Formula 1 team technical director James Key has signed a new contract

Key, 45, joined Toro Rosso in 2012 and has helped lift the team towards the upper-reaches of F1’s midfield, leading to suggestions he could move to a larger operation in the future.

In a statement issued on Tuesday ahead of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, Toro Rosso confirmed that Key had agreed to a new contract, ensuring his continued commitment to the Red Bull B-team.

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“Formula 1 is a team sport, but one in which an individual can still make a difference. So far, in his time with us, James has proved that he can indeed make that difference, leading the technical side of the operation,” Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost said.

“Not only has he been adept at producing chassis-aero packages that are well regarded throughout the paddock, he has also shown the management skills necessary to get the most out of all the various departments that work together both here in Faenza and in Bicester.

“I am therefore delighted that James will be with us for the foreseeable future to continue this fruitful process.”

“I am delighted to continue with Toro Rosso and remain part of the Red Bull family. This is a team which I have great respect for and have thoroughly enjoyed working with for the past five years; now I look forwards to continuing our project into the future,” Key said.

“STR is unique, facing the challenges of being spread over two countries and fulfilling the roles of both a team in its own right and an important part of the Red Bull driver programme: they are challenges that the team takes in its stride and, whilst doing so, continues to grow and improve year on year.

“Most importantly, the people I have had the pleasure to work with at STR are second to none: professional, ambitious and focussed, they have all worked incredibly hard to improve the team’s performance and will continue that hard work with the same dedication and optimism in the coming years too.

"I would like to thank Franz Tost and Red Bull for their continued support and confidence. We have more work to do, and I look forwards to taking the next steps with Toro Rosso towards our goals.”