Force India technical director James Key has left team after 13 years at the Silverstone-based squad.
He joined the team in 1998 in its original incarnation, Jordan, and became technical director in 2005, the team’s final year in that form.
Mark Smith takes over the role of technical director. Key’s work was mainly focussed on the aerodynamic development of the car while Smith concentrated on the mechanical side, but the latter will now fulfil a dual role.
Smith is another Jordan veteran, having spent 11 years with them before joining Red Bull in 2005. He returned to the outfit, now as Force India, in 2007.
The team has not yet confirmed when or whether Key will be replaced. He said:
I have spent the majority of my motor racing career within the team and although a difficult decision I felt the time was right for me to move on to new opportunities. After four owners and various changes and challenges, to field a car that got a pole position and a podium seemed like a culmination of all the efforts.
While I’m sad to leave a team I know so well, one which has allowed me to realise many ambitions within F1, I’m looking forward to a new start. The VJM03 is now up and running and early indications are good, I wish Force India all the very best for the next and coming seasons.
Read more: Force India F1 team information