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James Key to join Alfa Romeo from September ahead of Audi changeover

Ex-McLaren Technical Director, James Key, will be joining Alfa Romeo this September

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James Key is returning to the Sauber group, after his McLaren exit, to work at Alfa Romeo from this September onwards.

James Key will join old McLaren colleague, Andreas Seidl, at Alfa Romeo. Image Credit:

James Key has had a long career in F1. He has worked for teams such as Jordan, where he was the sport’s youngest technical director, Sauber, Toro Rosso and most recently- McLaren. After leaving the Woking group earlier this year, Key has now announced he will be returning to the Sauber group. Here he will work as technical director for Alfa Romeo. Key will also be a part of the Audi Works team.

When announcing their appointment, which will start on September 1st this year, Alfa Romeo labelled it as a “statement of intent” for the team.

In the statement, the Sauber group detailed not only Key’s goals for their partnership but, also included ex-McLaren colleague Andreas Seidl’s thoughts as well.

What they had to say

Key, who left Sauber just over a decade ago, spoke about returning back to a familiar environment.

“I am delighted to be returning to Hinwil to work with old, and new, colleagues at Sauber. I have very fond memories of my time there before.”

On the technical side, James Key spoke about the work he wanted to get done. He also highlighted their Audi future as being “exciting” but something they need to work for.

“I am looking forward to leading the technical side of the team at one of the most critical junctures of its long history as we head towards a new and exciting future.”

“There is a huge amount of work ahead of us. I am confident that every single member of our team working in Hinwil will have the commitment, determination and hunger to get us to the top.”

Andreas Seidl, Sauber Group CEO, also spoke about approaching their new future for 2026.

“James’s appointment is a crucial step on this journey”

“He will lead the transformation process of the technical side of the team, giving us the tools and direction we need to tackle the future”.

What will happen before September 1st?

The current technical director, Jan Monchaux, will obviously be vacating his position by the time September rolls around. However, there are a few reports that he could be leaving earlier than expected.

In his statement, Seidl thanked Monchaux for his efforts over the past seasons.

“I also want to thank Jan for his precious contribution to taking Sauber to where it is now, following our most successful season in a decade, in which we climbed to sixth place in the Constructors’ Championship.”

From the statement, there seems to be no bad blood, however, could Monchaux leave before Key is expected to step up?

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