McLaren is not counting on Red Bull to release its chief aerodynamicist Peter Prodromou early despite its deal with him.
It emerged during the Japanese Grand Prix weekend that Prodromou, a key part of technical chief Adrian Newey's set-up, had agreed to leave Red Bull for McLaren at the end of his current contract in 2015.
Red Bull made it clear that it was in no hurry to let Prodromou go, and McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale said during a Vodafone teleconference that his team had no expectation of an early transfer.
"Peter's a great guy and he's a core part of their organisation," he said.
"I can't see any incentive for Red Bull to release him early.
"We'd be happy if he was starting first thing tomorrow morning, but we do fully respect Red Bull's position as we do when we're recruiting anybody from another organisation.
"Peter's a key part of their operation at the moment and we look forward to welcoming him here."
But Neale said he would not rule out a change of heart by Red Bull further down the line.
"Who knows what will happen over the course of a year, but the timing is Red Bull's and it's up to them to decide, not for McLaren," he added.