Red Bull: McLaren F1 team won't get Toro Rosso's Key for long time

Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko is adamant the McLaren Formula 1 team will not be able to employ Toro Rosso technical director James Key until his contract runs out

Red Bull: McLaren F1 team won't get Toro Rosso's Key for long time

McLaren announced on Thursday that Key would become its new technical chief, but it would not confirm a date.

It is understood that McLaren boss Zak Brown was talking to Red Bull about the terms of Key's departure, but those discussions hit a snag when the story emerged in the media and was subsequently confirmed by McLaren.

It now appears that Red Bull wants Key to fulfil his contractual obligations to Toro Rosso.

"He has a long-term contract with Toro Rosso," Marko told Autosport.

"We had a discussion with Zak, and instead of coming back to us, there was a press release done.

"So we'll stick to the contract, and McLaren will have to wait for quite a long time."

Marko made it clear that he expects Key to see out his contract, which is understood to stretch to 2020.

"Of course. There's a contract for quite a long time. Why do we have contracts?" he said.

"We have to analyse the whole situation. As McLaren is making press announcements, we have to look seriously at the legal situation.

"But it's sure we won't release him earlier."

Asked if Key was now on 'gardening leave', Marko replied: "As far as I know he's on holiday at the moment, and we won't put him in a position where he gets all the latest information, that's clear."

Marko also downplayed suggestions that Red Bull would use the situation to get access to Lando Norris, having sounded out McLaren about the Formula 2 frontrunner earlier in the year.

"It's a very clear situation, if they don't put him in an F1 seat by September 30, he is a free [agent], so what do you want to deal?" said Marko.

Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner also expressed concern about the Key situation.

"Obviously it's a situation between James and Toro Rosso," Horner told Sky Sports F1.

"But Red Bull Technology provide services to Toro Rosso, so IP is obviously extremely sensitive.

"That's what we're pretty protective off. We're obviously keen to have an understanding of what the situation is with James and Toro Rosso in the relatively near future."

shares
comments
Red Bull can't afford third row F1 start in Hungary - Ricciardo

Previous article

Red Bull can't afford third row F1 start in Hungary - Ricciardo

Next article

Renault F1 team gets suspended fine for rare Hungary tyre error

Renault F1 team gets suspended fine for rare Hungary tyre error
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Red Bull Racing , Toro Rosso , McLaren
Author Adam Cooper
Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is no guarantee

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021