McLaren F1 team not interested in Red Bull's terms for James Key

McLaren's new Formula 1 technical director James Key is unlikely to join during the 2018 season, with the team not interested in Red Bull's proposed Toro Rosso early release deal

McLaren F1 team not interested in Red Bull's terms for James Key

Red Bull was frustrated when McLaren announced the signing of Key in July.

The two parties had been talking about an early release for Key, but McLaren going public took Red Bull by surprise and complicated negotiations.

There have been suggestions that Red Bull might be willing to do a deal that would involve Lando Norris released by McLaren to drive for Toro Rosso next year, but Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko said it was simply a matter of money.

"We told McLaren what would solve the problem, and we didn't hear anything," Marko told Autosport.

"We are not in a hurry. It's financial - we don't mix things."

Brown confirmed there were now no ongoing discussions, and said he was not interested in the figure that Red Bull had suggested.

"We're in no dialogue with them," said Brown when asked about the situation by Autosport.

"They have named their terms. I'm not interested in the terms that they've put forward."

Brown admitted that he did not know when Key would be free to start his new job.

"We have signed a contract with James, so he will be joining McLaren as technical director," he said.

"We're still working through the timing of that. I think it's highly unlikely that he will join us this season and we don't have a specific start date yet."

Marko said Norris was irrelevant to the Key talks as he will be a free agent after September 30 if he does not have a 2019 McLaren F1 race seat.

"At the moment there's a clear situation," he said. "If they give him a drive by the end of September, he is fixed. If not he is free."

Brown also denied suggestions his team had agreed a deal with former McLaren and Ferrari man Pat Fry to return to the camp.

But he admitted there would be further staffing announcements.

"We are talking to a variety of people to strengthen our technical department," said Brown.

"We've hired some people internally, that we've not really spoken about [publicly], and we'll have some other people joining the team that we'll speak about in due course."

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