Ex-McLaren technical director Key to join Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo have announced the signing of James Key as the team’s new F1 technical director. 

Key has been out of work since leaving McLaren in March amid a major reshuffle of the team's technical department following a difficult couple of seasons. 

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The former Toro Rosso and McLaren technical director will begin his role as Alfa Romeo technical director on September 1, replacing Jan Monchaux. 

It marks a return to the Hinwil-based outfit for Key, who previously served as Sauber’s technical director between 2010 and 2012.

The Key-designed C31 went on to score four podiums in the hands of Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi during a competitive 2012 season. 

Key will also reunite with former McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl, who is now CEO of the Sauber Group. 

Sauber are preparing to transform into the Audi works team when the German manufacturer enters F1 in 2026.

“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,” said Key. 

“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.”

 Valencia, Spain, Monisha Kaltenborn (AUT), Managing director Sauber F1 Team, Sergio Pérez (MEX), Sauber F1 Team, Peter
Valencia, Spain, Monisha Kaltenborn (AUT), Managing director Sauber F1…

Seidl said: “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.”

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