The Sauber Group is already beginning to outline what will be its nearest future. And the first change is already a reality. James Key returns to the team and will do so, as of September 1, 2023, as the new technical director of Alfa Romeo. The engineer will take over from Jan Monchaux, assuming his role in the team and named as the man who will lead the new project that the brand is preparing together with Audi, according to Andres Seidl, CEO of Sauber Motorsport and his former boss at McLaren. The union of both will enter Formula 1 in 2026, as announced a few months ago.
“I am delighted to be back in Hinwil to work with old and new Sauber colleagues; I keep very good memories of my previous stage there. I look forward to leading the technical side of the team at one of the most critical moments in its long history as we head into an exciting new future. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but I am confident that each and every one of our team members who work in Hinwil have the necessary commitment, determination and hunger to take us to the top”, assumes Key before his new challenge, knowing and what it is like to work in Hinwil, for his time with BMW from 2010 to 2012, before the entry of Toro Rosso. In fact, in his last year he was part of the C31 revolution, single-seater that gave the team four podiums with Sergio ‘Checo’ Pérez and Kamui Kobayashi. He also went through McLaren until 2019, leaving Woking in the latest remodeling of the team.
“We know that it will take time, effort and perseverance, and that the dividends of this work will only come over the next two seasons and beyond, but we have a journey ahead of us and a roadmap to follow that I’m looking forward to getting started on. I thank Andreas for the trust he has placed in me and I am looking forward to repaying his trust and working closely with him on the challenges and ambitions that lie ahead”, he adds, motivated by the project. In the same way as his new boss, Seidlwelcomes him: “I am sure that, together with this highly talented and committed team, we will be able to continue on the path of growth on which we have embarked”.
“The appointment of James is a crucial step on this path.. He has great experience in this sport, not only as a technical director, but also in other functions within the technical organization of a team”, he praises, to later ensure that Key “will lead the transformation process of the technical part of the team, giving us the tools and direction we need to face the future.” And, of course, he appreciates the efforts of Monchaux, who will remain at the helm until after the summer: “I also want to thank Jan for her valuable contribution in bringing Sauber to where it is now, after our most successful season in a decade, in which we climbed to sixth place in the constructors’ championship”.