James Key replaces Rampf at Sauber

James Key

James Key 


Less then one day after Force India announced his departure, James Key has been named as BMW Sauber's new Technical Director, taking over from Willy Rampf.

Key said, "The first time I saw the facilities in Hinwil, I knew straightaway the kind of opportunities open to me there. The wind tunnel, the supercomputer, the machine park and the expertise of the team were extremely persuasive. There is significant potential at Sauber, and with the ever changing world of F1 I think the team is very well placed at present. I am grateful to my old team for the past 12 years I spent with them, but now I very much look forward to starting my new job. I would like to thank Peter Sauber and the team for this great opportunity."

Key worked previously at Lotus, before moving to Jordan, where he remained through the various ownership changes the team has undergone. Speaking about his new Technical Director, Peter Sauber said, "Despite his young age, James looks back on more than a decade of experience in Formula One - and the 2009 car in particular proved quite a revelation. James comes from a private team and knows how to work around a limited budget. With us he will enjoy high-level technical opportunities. Willy and James will be devoting April to the handover. I have known about Willy's plans for some time, of course, and fully understand his decision. He has achieved great things for our team. I had managed to get him on board as race engineer for season 1994. Then in 1998 he temporarily left the team to pursue his Paris-Dakar Rallye dream and ran BMW's motorcycle involvement - a successful interlude, as we know. In 1999 he returned to the fold with the clear aim of becoming Technical Director. It was practically his first Formula One car that was out on the grid in 2001, and we finished fourth in the Constructors' Championship as a privately-run team. We have Willy to thank for a great deal."

Willy Rampf who will retire on April 1st, and move to South Africa, as he had planned for the past two years, said "When you're Technical Director of a Formula One team, the job comes first and everything else is subordinate to it. I have done my job with a passion for ten years, but now it's time to hand over the baton. Peter Sauber gave me the chance to enter this league of motor sport and I greatly value all my years spent working with the team."

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Stories:: FEBRUARY 24, 2010