James Key will remain as Scuderia Toro Rosso’s technical director after extending his contract with the Faenza-based outfit. The length of the new contract was not specified.

The 45-year-old Briton has headed the Italian squad’s technical department since 2012 after joining the Red Bull junior outfit from Sauber, and has been instrumental in growing the his team to over 100 staff.

“I am delighted to continue with Toro Rosso and remain part of the Red Bull family,” Key said. “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.

“I would like to thank [team principal] 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.”

Key has been in Formula 1 since 1998. After joining the Jordan team he remained with the Silverstone-based squad through its Midland, Spyker and Force India guises.

Key was widely lauded for his work in improving Force India into a more competitive force in 2009 – where Giancarlo Fisichella claimed pole position on merit at the Belgian Grand Prix and teammate Adrian Sutil secured a front-row start at the following round at Monza.

He subsequently joined the Sauber team in 2010, but his stint with the Swiss squad lasted barely two seasons before he accepted an offer to spearhead Toro Rosso’s technical line-up, splitting his time between the team’s Faenza headquarters and its satellite office in Bicester.

“Formula 1 is a team sport, but one in which an individual can still make a difference,” team principal Franz Tost added. “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.”

Image via Red Bull Content Pool

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.