Former Formula 1 driver Christian Albers has cited James Key as the man who will soon become the benchmark for design in Formula 1, saying Adrian Newey is pretty much finished.
Englishman Key joined McLaren before the start of the 2019 season and played an instrumental role in helping the British team return to the front of the F1 midfield. Albers believes this is no coincidence as the ex-F1 driver feels Key can take over the mantle from Newey.
"Adrian Newey is pretty much done," Albers said to Dutch publication Formule 1.
"I see Key as the new Newey, I think he’s a talent, really genius. He can certainly continue to grow in his role as technical director.
"Key isn’t rock hard he’s just not that kind of guy, he does need a little guidance. But what difference does it make? It’s about how good the car is."
Albers also highlighted how Key might leave McLaren if a better offer comes along.
"If he doesn’t get a significantly better offer from a top team like Ferrari, I think he will stay there (McLaren)," Albers continued.
"I am very curious about that. What can he do with more budget and people?"
However, with the McLaren currently experiencing an upswing in fortunes, Key might be at the perfect place to develop himself into one of F1's elite designers.