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Key joins Toro Rosso as technical director

ESPN Staff
September 6, 2012 « Ascanelli resigns from Toro Rosso | Grosjean apologised to Alonso »
James Key was most recently technical director at Sauber before leaving at the start of this season © Sutton Images
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James Key has been named as Toro Rosso's new technical director after the team confirmed Giorgio Ascanelli had resigned from the role.

Key left Sauber at the start of this season after nearly two years as the team's technical director. Prior to that he worked for Jordan and remained with the team as it became Midland, Spyker and then Force India. Key said that the 2014 regulation changes would give Toro Rosso "clear opportunities" but believes he can have an impact in the short term too.

"I am very happy to be joining Scuderia Toro Rosso after a few months away from Formula 1," Key said. "It's a great opportunity for me to join a team that strikes me as extremely ambitious with a workforce that is very motivated. Even after just a few days, I have sensed, from everyone I have dealt with, an enthusiasm to move the team forward.

"There are clear opportunities coming up through regulation changes and we intend to look not only at the long term, but the short term too. We will be studying the team's working practices, throughout all the departments, while looking to see which areas need strengthening further. Our aim has to be to move the team up a level in terms of its position within the F1 hierarchy. Next year's car project is already well underway and it seems to be going in the right direction and now we have a few months left to ensure it is a step forward from this year's car.

"Looking closer to home, there is still some development to come on this year's STR7 and we will be doing our best to make the most of the remaining eight races with the developments already in the pipeline, all of it coming off the back of a good weekend in Spa."

Team principal Franz Tost is confident that Key can have a big influence on the team's 2013 car.

"With James Key in the role of Technical Director, we start a new chapter in the history of Toro Rosso and I hope it's an interesting one," Tost said. "James comes to us with a strong reputation and has proved he can help smaller teams punch above their weight. We cannot expect miracles in the next few races, but James has joined early enough to have an influence on our car for 2013, when we hope to have a better season than this one, even if last weekend's result in Belgium, with both cars in the points, was encouraging."