James Key dubbed ‘heir apparent’ to Adrian Newey

Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost has described the team’s technical director James Key as being the likely successor to Adrian Newey’s crown as Formula One’s leading car designer in the future.

Newey worked on championship-winning entries for Williams, McLaren and Red Bull. His cars have won a total of ten world titles in a career spanning nearly three decades. He has moved away from the sport in recent years to work in other areas of technological development such as yachting’s America’s Cup, although recent European press reports have indicated that Newey has been taking a larger role in the development of the 2017 Red Bull and is “fully motivated again” according to Christian Horner.

Meanwhile Tost indicated that he believes that Key is the natural heir to Newey in terms of designing the leading Formula One cars of the future.

“James has developed a lot in the last few years, and he has built up an excellent team around him,” Tost told the Formula One website..

“Adrian Newey is simply much more experienced, but I am convinced that James will be one of the top technical personalities in Formula One in a couple of years.”

As to whether Key will achieve Newey’s incredible level of sustained success in the sport, Tost replied: “Why not? But it will depend much on where the regulations go. As always in life it is a matter of being in the right place at the right time.”

With Key’s profile in the sport rising rapidly, the challenge for Tost will be retaining Key in the face of tempting offers from other, bigger teams.

“Of course it is always a person’s ambition to do as they want, but nevertheless James has a contract with Toro Rosso and I expect that he will respect this contract.”

Understandably in the circumstances, Tost wouldn’t be drawn on the length of Key’s current contract at Toro Rosso. “This is the point where I have to use the confidential word!” he laughed.

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