Toro Rosso: James Key still under contract following McLaren announcement

Toro Rosso has indicated that technical director James Key's move to McLaren is not being undertaken with its consent by confirming he still has a long-term contract with the team

Toro Rosso: James Key still under contract following McLaren announcement

McLaren announced on Thursday morning that Key will be joining the Woking outfit, although it didn't provide details of either his job title or, crucially, the timing of his move.

Toro Rosso in return has opted to make it clear that Key is still under contract.

It's believed that there are still negotiations to be concluded with McLaren in relation to Key's release, and that going public to remind the world of its contractual claim on him is simply part of Toro Rosso's strategy.

Some observers have suggested Toro Rosso harbours hopes of using the situation to land the services of McLaren junior driver Lando Norris for 2019 and beyond, but it seems unlikely that a settlement between the two teams would be anything but financial.

Key was understood to still be working at STR's factory in Faenza today. It's not yet clear whether he is destined for gardening leave, which is the usual course of action in such cases, especially given that his situation is now public.

"James has a valid long-term contract with Toro Rosso," team principal Franz Tost told Autosport.

"And that's all what I can say about this. There's nothing more to say."

Asked if the team was in negotiations with McLaren about the terms of Key's departure he said: "I think they will come to us.

"I have no reason to discuss it with them, because we have a contract. Everything has been said."

Tost did however insist the team has enough strength in depth for the uncertainty over Key's future to not have an impact on its immediate development plans

"Of course, it's not supporting us, all this story around James," he said. "This is clear.

"But the team from the technical side is strong enough, and there's a good view about what we have to do with it all.

"But we simply need also the time. I hope that we will bring some upgrades in the second half of the season, and if they are working as expected, I hope we can close the gap once more."

shares
comments
Carlos Sainz Jr explains 'very strange' Germany safety car incident

Previous article

Carlos Sainz Jr explains 'very strange' Germany safety car incident

Next article

Fernando Alonso: 70% of McLaren's work for 2019 car developments

Fernando Alonso: 70% of McLaren's work for 2019 car developments
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Toro Rosso , McLaren
Author Adam Cooper
Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash Plus

Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash

George Russell and Valtteri Bottas' collision at Imola on Sunday prompted fury in the Formula 1 paddock. But Russell's carefully-worded heartfelt statement later, acknowledging that his initial response was wrong, proved the right move

How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for F1’s 2021 title fight Plus

How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for F1’s 2021 title fight

In Max Verstappen's Formula 1 career to date, he has been cast as the 'pretender', an acknowledged top-line performer without the car to regularly challenge Lewis Hamilton. But that no longer applies in 2021, and the start to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was the most telling signal yet of what we can expect from their duel this year

Formula 1
Apr 21, 2021
How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve Plus

How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve

Daniel Ricciardo has found a new lease of life at McLaren – a move that’s been years in the making, as he explains to STUART CODLING…

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari Plus

The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari

Ninety years ago, Rudolf Caracciola became the first non-Italian to win the epic Mille Miglia. We look at how he stacks up to the most famous pre-war ace Tazio Nuvolari, one of the drivers he beat on that day in 1931

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Plus

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Plus

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Plus

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021