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James Key

Formula 1 employee

James Key
Credit: Fox/Getty
Vital statistics for James Key
PositionTechnical director
TeamScuderia Toro Rosso

James Key has spent the latter part of his F1 career as Technical Director through several iterations of the team that would become Force India, and then again at Sauber. In late 2012, it was confirmed that he would take up the same role at Toro Rosso, where he has been since – pushing the team to improve their midfield performance.


James Key joined Formula One with the colourful Jordan Grand Prix outfit, working his way up through the ranks. Starting out as a data engineer, he went on to coach Takuma Sato through some races from the pit wall, before heading back to the factory. Working on various aspects, such as wind tunnel calibration and data collection, as well as vehicle dynamics, he eventually became a departmental head.

In 2005, the team transitioned to MF1 Racing and Key was handed a promotion to become Technical Director. As one of the youngest directors in the pit lane at the time, Key continued in the position despite various ownership changes, through Spyker F1 and the current Force India.

Key left the Force India team early in 2010, replacing Technical Director Willy Rampf at Sauber. He helped guide the Swiss team through their transition from a BMW works team to the privately owned Sauber venture once more.

After nearly two years, in February 2012, it was confirmed that Key would be leaving, and by the end of the same year he had joined Toro Rosso as Technical Director. At the time, the team aimed to take a step forward although Key’s influence wasn’t felt on the car until 2013. At the end of the season, Toro Rosso finished in eighth place in the constructor standings, with seven more points over their 2012 campaign.