McLaren has successfully headhunted Toro Rosso’s James Key to be its new Technical Director, according to reports by the BBC.

Key’s appointment will be officially announced by McLaren in due course, although Key’s start date will be subject to the traditional period of ‘gardening leave’ he will have to serve when he leaves Toro Rosso.

James Key, Toro Rosso Technical Director

James Key will join McLaren.

Key started in Formula 1 with Jordan in 1998 and stayed with the team through its subsequent Midland, Spyker and Force India iterations where he earned a reputation for designing cars that were particularly competitive in low-downforce trim.

He moved to Sauber in 2010 but his tenure lasted less than two years before he moved on to Too Rosso before the end of 2012 on a five-year contract. He was linked with a move to Williams at the end of his original contract but renegotiated a shortened contract extension with the Red Bull junior team.

Toro Rosso could promote Jody Egginton, the current deputy technical director, in Key’s place.

McLaren, enduring one of its least competitive seasons in its history, is also facing the resignation of Matt Morris, who was the outfit’s engineering director.

Image via Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.