Scuderia Toro Rosso has announced that James Key is its new technical director.
After months of speculation that the former Sauber technical chief was on his way to the Faenza-based team, Toro Rosso finally confirmed that the Briton has begun work earlier this week. Franz Tost, team principal, believed that arrival of Key – who replaces Giorgio Ascanelli – marks the start of a new era for the Red Bull-owned contender.
"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," he 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."
Key says his focus will be on not just improving the car but also overhauling the technical structure at the outfit to ensure it can be more competitive in the future.
"It's a great opportunity for me to join a team that strikes me as extremely ambitious with a workforce that is very motivated," he said. "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."