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McLaren and Toro Rosso reach agreement over Key start date

  • Published on 22 Feb 2019 15:01
  • comments 7
  • By: Fergal Walsh

McLaren has confirmed that James Key will start his role at McLaren in the week following the Australian Grand Prix next month.

McLaren announced midway through the 2018 season that it had signed Key from Toro Rosso, however the start date wasn't clear. 

Key has spent the last six years working at Toro Rosso as its technical director, becoming one of the more respected senior team members in the paddock. Prior to that, he worked with an array of Formula 1 teams, including Jordan and its re-branding phase as it became Midland F1, Spyker and Force India. 

After leaving Force India in 2010, Key joined Sauber for two years before taking on his role with Toro Rosso.

In light of the news, Toro Rosso has confirmed that its current deputy technical director Jody Egginton will be promoted to the team's technical director.

Egginton joined Toro Rosso in 2014 as its Head of Vehicle Performance, before becoming its deputy technical director in 2017.

Egginton has previous F1 experience working with the Silverstone squad team that went through various name changes after Jordan. He took on a role with Caterham in 2010, before making the move to the Red Bull junior team four years later.

Replies (7)

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  • Let it gooooo, let it gooo!

    • + 0
    • Feb 22 2019 - 16:17
    • I don't get the idea of an employer clinging on to an employee who decided to leave. This is not even the case of a gardening leave for mitigating the secrets flowing out to your competitor.

      • + 0
      • Feb 22 2019 - 16:33
    • I do in a sport like this. Especially considering how Key he has been to STR's operation (I'm really sorry). They probably tried to do anything to gleam as much talent as they could from him while also trying to prevent McLaren from getting important info about their car(s, remember, it shares components with the RBH). I don't like it, but I see why they'd do it.

      • + 0
      • Feb 22 2019 - 19:08
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,160

      I remember Ross Brawn having to go on gardening leave for an year before he could leave Ferrari. The issue is that key personal carry more than just one area of expertise so they need to be treated differently from that point of view.

      It's good that McLaren are investing into key personel they need to. However Key as an character is an interesting one, i am unsure if he fits inside the McLaren machine. Time will tell.

      • + 0
      • Feb 22 2019 - 22:57
    • RogerF1

      Posts: 414

      Quite common in higher echelons of engineering industry, if you want to go and it’s too the competition then choice is usually garden leave for your entire notice - commonly 3 months min. up to 12 mnths - or sign a non-disclosure agree. Quite understandable in this sport and his rank. Should be good for McL.

      • + 0
      • Feb 23 2019 - 10:45
  • Kean

    Posts: 597

    I actually thought it would take longer for McLaren to get Key to come and work for them. Guess this means that Key will have complete control over the 2020 car, and likely be able to work on upgrades to the 2019 car. I find it interesting though that STR are filling Key's position with Jody. Didn't Marko say that it wasn't necessary?

    • + 0
    • Feb 23 2019 - 11:51
    • Trust Marko as far as you can throw him. I for one am a shrimp, so I don't throw him anywhere.

      • + 0
      • Feb 23 2019 - 12:06
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