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McLaren hires Toro Rosso technical director James Key

26 July 2018

McLaren has appointed James Key as its new technical director from Toro Rosso, where he held the same position, the Woking-based team has confirmed.

Key has reportedly resigned from Toro Rosso, and is set to join the beleaguered former world-champions after an unspecified period of gardening leave. McLaren has also confirmed that its engineering director, Matt Morris, has also resigned with immediate effect.

The move comes amid a period of restructuring at McLaren which, after its switch to Renault engines at the start of this year, has been forced look internally for the causes of its continually underwhelming performances.

Racing director Eric Boullier has already left, with his departure being suddenly announced ahead of the British Grand Prix, and has subsequently been replaced by Gil de Ferran and performance director Andrea Stella.  Tim Goss left McLaren’s technical team in April, which means that with Morris’ resignation, only Peter Prodomou remains of the technical team’s leadership.

Following Boullier’s departure early this month, McLaren CEO Zak Brown tempered any hope that the leadership changes would quickly lead to on-track improvements, with the former racing driver cautioning that it could be a long-time before the outfit were again challenging for championships.

“I think we are years away. I don’t know if that’s two or 10 or somewhere in-between,” he said.

McLaren are currently seventh in the Formula 1 constructors championship, and have not won a race since 2012.

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