Toro Rosso has agreed to release James Key after reaching an agreement as Jody Egginton is promoted to the senior role in 2019 F1 season.
McLaren announced the hiring of a new technical director Key last year from the Italian team which led to a controversy, where the Red Bull junior team denied of an agreement for an early release of the British engineer from his role to the Woking-based team.
The talks stretched on until the end of the 2018 F1 season when McLaren’s Zak Brown insisted that Key will join the outfit at some point in 2019. At the same time, Toro Rosso continued to name Key as its technical director.
He wasn’t spotted at the races though with the team. With the 2019 season underway with the Barcelona F1 test, the Italian outfit has now confirmed an early release of Key after a mutual agreement reached between the two parties.
As per the discussion, Key will be released on March 23 with Egginton taking over Key’s position on March 25 – a week after the 2019 season start with the Australian GP. The statement from Toro Rosso said:
“Scuderia Toro Rosso and McLaren Racing confirm they have reached an agreement to settle the position of Mr James Key, who will be released by Scuderia Toro Rosso prior to end of his existing contract arrangement on March 23rd 2019.
“Jody Egginton will begin his new role as Scuderia Toro Rosso Technical Director on March 25th 2019.” Even though Key is joining McLaren in 2019, his full impact will only be felt from 2020 onward with Brown clearing that he did not have much say on MCL34.