James Key (Formula One)
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James Key Formula One

James Key
Born (1972-01-14) 14 January 1972 (age 49)
Chelmsford, Essex
Nationality British
OccupationFormula One engineer

James Key (born 14 January 1972) is a British engineer who works in Formula One as technical director for McLaren.


James Key studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nottingham. Lotus Engineering sponsored him to his degree in 1996.[1][2]

Formula One career

Key joined Jordan Grand Prix in 1998 spending several years as a data engineer, then became race engineer for Takuma Sato. Following a year in the Wind Tunnel he transferred to the Vehicle Dynamics department, eventually becoming the department head during the team's final few seasons as Jordan Grand Prix.

Shortly after the team's ownership transferred to MF1 Racing, he became Technical Director during the 2005 following a brief period as Technical Co-ordinator. He was one of the youngest Technical Directors of a Formula One team, at the age of 33 years, along with Sam Michael (born in 1971) who became the technical director of the Williams F1 team at the age of 33 during the 2004 season. Key retained his position during the team's transition through Spyker F1 to Force India F1.

In April 2010 he left Force India to join the Sauber team, replacing Willy Rampf as Technical Director.[3] He remained there for almost two years, before leaving in February 2012 to accept an undisclosed offer with one of the British-based teams.[4]

On 6 September 2012, it was announced that Key had joined Scuderia Toro Rosso as Technical Director, replacing Giorgio Ascanelli.[5]

On 26 July 2018, McLaren confirmed that Key had agreed to become technical director of the team, replacing the ousted Tim Goss. On 22 February 2019 it was announced that Key would join McLaren from 25 March 2019, just after the Australian Grand Prix.[6] He forms a triumvirate with Andrea Stella as Racing Director and Piers Thynne as Production Director, all under Team Principal Andreas Seidl.[7]


  1. ^ "The will to win - careers advice to get ahead - University of Nottingham - The University of Nottingham". www.nottingham.ac.uk. Retrieved 2020.
  2. ^ ,,Alumni James Key (Mechanical Engineering, 1996)"
  3. ^ Beer, Matt (24 February 2010). "Key takes over as Sauber technical boss". autosport.com. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 2010.
  4. ^ Noble, Jonathan (3 February 2012). "Technical director James Key to part company with Sauber". autosport.com. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 2012.
  5. ^ "Key replaces Ascanelli at Toro Rosso". www.formula1.com. 6 September 2012. Archived from the original on 29 September 2013. Retrieved 2019.
  6. ^ Beer, Matt. "Toro Rosso: Key to join McLaren as F1 technical boss after Melbourne".
  7. ^ "Stella promoted in McLaren restructure". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2020.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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