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
How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes Plus

How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes

With Formula 1’s future engine regulations now agreed, MARK GALLAGHER wonders if they will provide a more competitive field than past attempts actually managed

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Plus

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

STUART CODLING charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Plus

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded MAURICE HAMILTON of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2022
Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing Plus

Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing

It has been a long time coming but Audi’s arrival in Formula 1 is finally on the horizon for 2026. But it won’t be its first foray into grand prix racing, as the German manufacturer giant has a history both long and enthralling

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination Plus

The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination

After a tooth and nail and, at times, toxic Formula 1 world championship scrap last year, Max Verstappen's march to a second consecutive title has been the exact opposite. But has he really changed in 2022? Here's a dive into what factors have played a crucial role, both inside the Verstappen camp and elsewhere, in the Dutch driver's domination

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward Plus

Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward

Lewis Hamilton’s words in a recent Vanity Fair interview define both his world-view and his approach to this season: one of perpetual struggle against adversity. As GP RACING explains, that’s what Lewis feeds off – and why, far from being down and nearly out, he’s using his unique skillset to spearhead Mercedes’ revival…

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight Plus

The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight

The pecking order in 2022's Formula 1 season may look pretty static as the season draws to a close, but the unique nature of the cost cap means that preparation for next season takes precedence. New developments are being pushed back to 2023 - which could mask the technical development war ongoing...

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
How one retro event could prove an alluring prospect for Formula 1 stars Plus

How one retro event could prove an alluring prospect for Formula 1 stars

While Formula 1 drivers taking part in retro events can prove costly, as Charles Leclerc discovered at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix, the Goodwood Revival could prove an interesting experiment for today's stars. As the event's own Tourist Trophy race proves it means serious business, a race for current F1 drivers feels as though it’s in line with where the event is currently at

Goodwood Revival
Sep 21, 2022