96. James Key

Age 49
Occupation Executive Director, Technical, Mclaren Racing
Nationality British
Position Last Year 93

James Key joined the team as Technical Director in March 2019 and is responsible for developing the MCL35 and leading the production of our future Formula 1 racecars.

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Key joined Jordan Grand Prix in 1998 spending several years as a data engineer, then became race engineer for Takuma Sato. Following a year in the Wind Tunnel, he transferred to the Vehicle Dynamics department, eventually becoming the department head during the team’s final few seasons as Jordan Grand Prix.

Shortly after the team’s ownership transferred to MF1 Racing, he became Technical Director during 2005 following a brief period as Technical Co-ordinator. He was one of the youngest Technical Directors of a Formula One team, at the age of 33 years, along with Sam Michael (born in 1971) who became the technical director of the Williams F1 team at the age of 33 during the 2004 season. Key retained his position during the team’s transition through Spyker F1 to Force India F1.

In April 2010 he left Force India to join the Sauber team, replacing Willy Rampf as Technical Director. He remained there for almost two years, before leaving in February 2012 to accept an undisclosed offer with one of the British-based teams.

On 6 September 2012, it was announced that Key had joined Scuderia Toro Rosso as Technical Director, replacing Giorgio Ascanelli.

On 26 July 2018, McLaren confirmed that Key had agreed to become technical director of the team, replacing the ousted Tim Goss. On 22 February 2019, it was announced that James Key will join McLaren from 25 March 2019, just after the Australian Grand Prix.

James joined the team as Executive Director, Technical in March 2019 and is responsible for developing the MCL35M and leading the production of our future Formula 1 racecars. James has been a familiar face in the paddock for more than 14 years and brings a wealth of F1 experience to his role.

He has held the role of Technical Director with multiple teams, starting in 2005 with Midland F1 Racing where he took up the role at just 33 years old, making him one of the youngest Technical Directors on the grid. Since then James has served at Williams, Force India, Sauber and most recently Toro Rosso.

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