Toro Rosso has confirmed that James Key has extended his contract to stay with the team in the role of Technical Director.
The 45 year-old Englishman has been with the Faenza-based team since joining in September 2012, to lead the Scuderia's technical operation. That work has involved Key overseeing the concept, design and manufacture of the Toro Rosso cars from STR8 to this year's STR12, with work now well underway on the STR13.
In his time with the team, personnel numbers have increased substantially and, apart from the actual task of producing a new car each year, Key has also played a pivotal role in getting the right people on board, and ensuring the smooth running of operations in Faenza and at the wind tunnel in Bicester.
"Formula 1 is a team sport, but one in which an individual can still make a difference," said Franz Tost. "So far, in his time with us, James has proved that he can indeed make that difference, leading the technical side of the operation. 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," added Key, who is known to have been on the radar of a number of leading teams. "This is a team which I have great respect for and have thoroughly enjoyed working with for the past 5 years; now I look forward to continuing our project into the future.
"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."