Valtteri Bottas has hailed the imminent arrival of James Key as Alfa Romeo's Technical Director.
Key had most recently served as Technical Director at McLaren, but left the team after a disappointing start to 2023 continued a downturn in form that had begun with 2022's MCL36.
Key's arrival at Alfa will see him team up once again with former McLaren colleague Andreas Seidl, who now serves as CEO of Sauber Motorsport, ahead of the team's transition to becoming the Audi factory outfit by 2026.
In addition to a previous spell at Sauber between 2010 and 2012, Key has also had spells with Force India and Toro Rosso, and Bottas talked up the Briton's experience within different F1 teams.
"James is obviously very welcome to the team," Bottas told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"He's got lots of experience from different teams before, in different situations, so I think he's going to be a good addition for us, and look forward to starting to work with him."
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Key arrival part of long-term plan
The announcement of Key's arrival is the latest piece of Audi's F1 jigsaw to have fallen into place, following last year's announcement that the German marque would enter the sport in 2026 and form a strategic partnership with Sauber.
With Key's arrival following that of Seidl earlier in 2023, Bottas said the team's long-term plan to reach the top in F1 was well underway.
"The basic things are there," said Bottas.
"There's always room for improvement and you could always get the latest machinery for every single department.
"So I think there's still work going on to see where to invest, when to invest, because there's a clear long-term plan.
"But then in the end, it's also about human power, so we're getting there step by step, but it is a project."