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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:48 am 
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It's being reported on various sites, such as Motorsport.com and the BBC, that Toro Rosso's technical director James Key is to take up the same role within the restructured McLaren management team. At the moment there is no confirmation of when he'll take up the new role, but there is likely to be a period of gardening leave (although there is some speculation that McLaren might be able to accelerate his arrival at the team by bargaining with Norris or Vandoorne, presumably on loan in Norris' case as there is no other reason for McLaren to part with him at this point).

This feels like quite an appointment for McLaren as he's done a good job wherever he's been. It's also a bit of a statement from the team given he's quite highly regarded within F1, and had been seem in some quarters as a potential long-term replacement for Adrian Newey. No doubt one arrival isn't going to reverse the team's fortunes but it's certainly a step in the right direction for McLaren.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:45 am 
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Great news, if true! I have a lot of respect for Key, and out of the available technical people I can't think of one I would trust more to turn a team like McLaren around.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:40 am 
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http://www.skysports.com/f1/news/12433/ ... gning-coup

Confirmed! Great signing for McLaren and a sign they understand the gravity of their situation. It'll be a long road to the front but a big restructure is the first step.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:13 pm 
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Black_Flag_11 wrote:
http://www.skysports.com/f1/news/12433/11449289/mclaren-land-james-key-as-technical-director-in-signing-coup

Confirmed! Great signing for McLaren and a sign they understand the gravity of their situation. It'll be a long road to the front but a big restructure is the first step.

It HAS to be all about 2021. If they stay stuck in this mindset of behaving like they're closer to the front than they really are, they will never get back to the front. They need to basically approach 2021 the same way that Mercedes approached 2014.

That said, I do like the signing. Key is an underrated talent.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:20 pm 
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That's a huge signing. Totally unexpected

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:06 pm 
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Very good signing. I rate Key a lot and have been impressed with the cars he's put out with such a limited budget.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:03 pm 
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sandman1347 wrote:
Black_Flag_11 wrote:
http://www.skysports.com/f1/news/12433/11449289/mclaren-land-james-key-as-technical-director-in-signing-coup

Confirmed! Great signing for McLaren and a sign they understand the gravity of their situation. It'll be a long road to the front but a big restructure is the first step.

It HAS to be all about 2021. If they stay stuck in this mindset of behaving like they're closer to the front than they really are, they will never get back to the front. They need to basically approach 2021 the same way that Mercedes approached 2014.

That said, I do like the signing. Key is an underrated talent.

But they do need to get cfd and the windtunnnel results happening in the real world, while this isn't happening they must concentrate on now otherwise it doesn't matter who is designing the 2021 car as it won't do as it should


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:58 pm 
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Black_Flag_11 wrote:
http://www.skysports.com/f1/news/12433/11449289/mclaren-land-james-key-as-technical-director-in-signing-coup

Confirmed! Great signing for McLaren and a sign they understand the gravity of their situation. It'll be a long road to the front but a big restructure is the first step.


I think Renault is most likely team to come closer to top3. May be even that will take some years. But definitely they would like to be 5th best with the budget they have compared to team like FI who are in danger of running out of money even before this year.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:39 pm 
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It can't be a coincidence that wherever Key has been, results have followed. But still I think too much emphasis is put on the impact of the technical director / chief engineer, ultimately these teams have hundreds of engineering personnel working on the cars and it takes much more than a change at the top to turn around a team's fortunes. Just look at Williams.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:49 pm 
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I read all the positive comments about James Key but I don’t get it.

He was a data engineer, worked in the wind tunnel and vehicle dynamics. I can’t see any expertise to oversee complete car design, let alone overhaul all the issues at McLaren. Their problems are longstanding and he seems far too ameniable/compliant to be able to change things.

I’m happy to be proved wrong because I’d love McLaren to get back to their glory days but I don’t see him as the saviour.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:56 pm 
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Tost is still insisting he has a long contract with STR?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:35 pm 
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F1-FAN wrote:
I read all the positive comments about James Key but I don’t get it.

He was a data engineer, worked in the wind tunnel and vehicle dynamics. I can’t see any expertise to oversee complete car design, let alone overhaul all the issues at McLaren. Their problems are longstanding and he seems far too ameniable/compliant to be able to change things.

I’m happy to be proved wrong because I’d love McLaren to get back to their glory days but I don’t see him as the saviour.

Well if he knows his wind tunnel stuff that is one of their issues windtunnel gives good results which don't happen on track...


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:40 pm 
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I always assumed that Key would be Newey's heir for the Red Bull racing throne. But if they won't offer him that chance, it is good that he's looking at other options. Good for him.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:20 pm 
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Great signing for McLaren. Hopefully he will be able to thrive since the McLaren management structure is pathetic. I don't seen any major progress until 2021.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:31 am 
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dompclarke wrote:
Well if he knows his wind tunnel stuff that is one of their issues windtunnel gives good results which don't happen on track...


True, but then appoint him as Head of Aero. I’m not saying he is a bad guy but I’m not convinced he has the capability to oversee whole car design. He also doesn’t strike me as someone who will be able to get to the root of all the technical issues at McLaren (or get through the old networks). He isn’t a designer by trade. Newey is a designer at heart which helps to explain his great cars.

That said, I’m happy to be proved wrong so that McLaren get back to the front of the grid.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:13 pm 
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Technical director doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s going to pick up a pen and design the car. Being able to manage the technical staff in the various departments and getting them rowing in the same direction is important and that doesn’t require the manager to know everyone’s job as well they do. The man has been in the F1 game for a while and I’m sure he has enough knowledge to achieve this seeing as how he’s already gotten plenty of credit for the quality of some of the recent STR chassis. They’ve done a lot with very little the last few years even with changing PU suppliers every couple of years.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:56 pm 
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Marko is saying he has an iron clad contract until 2020. Presumably holding out for some kind of compensation from McLaren?

https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/toro ... o-1064733/


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:09 pm 
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RaggedMan wrote:
Technical director doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s going to pick up a pen and design the car. Being able to manage the technical staff in the various departments and getting them rowing in the same direction is important and that doesn’t require the manager to know everyone’s job as well they do. The man has been in the F1 game for a while and I’m sure he has enough knowledge to achieve this seeing as how he’s already gotten plenty of credit for the quality of some of the recent STR chassis. They’ve done a lot with very little the last few years even with changing PU suppliers every couple of years.


I agree but a TD needs to have enough knowledge to know when the staff are playing him and get them rowing in the same direction. Having a design background helps.

Personally, I don’t see him having done anything great but that’s my opinion and I’m fine that others disagree and also happy if he proves me wrong and gets McLaren back to the pointy end of the grid


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:53 pm 
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Oooooook Gents… So apparently Franz Tost says otherwise??!?!?!
Says Key has a long-term contract with the team (Toro Rosso).

https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/ ... um=twitter
https://www.planetf1.com/news/toro-ross ... -str-deal/


I wonder if this is indeed a DONE deal or if Toro Rosso are indeed trying to get Lando Norris for next year, maybe even after the summer break???!??!?

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:18 pm 
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Zoue wrote:
Marko is saying he has an iron clad contract until 2020. Presumably holding out for some kind of compensation from McLaren?

https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/toro ... o-1064733/


It seems that the releasing of the, and McLaren's confirmation, of the signing in the media has angered Marko. Before that, according to Autosport Zak Brown had been negotiating with Red Bull....... now there is an issue.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:22 pm 
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Marko says , "We had a discussion with Zak, and instead of coming back to us, there was a press release done."
Now on the face of it, Marko's words would tend to indicate that a nice little conversation was going on and out of the blue, McLaren surprised everyone by issuing a press release so the whole matter was out in the public arena.
I know McLaren has apparently been doing some loopy things recently but it beggars belief that the situation as presented by Marko is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Is McLaren really stupid enough to derail a pleasant little negotiation in such a clumsy way?
I'm not saying it's one or the other but I do smell a whiff of rancorous obscuration hereabouts.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:40 pm 
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Huw wrote:
I'm not saying it's one or the other but I do smell a whiff of rancorous obscuration hereabouts.

I smelled that as soon as I saw 'Helmut Marko' in the quote. I don't trust a word that cretin says.

My guess would be some sort of miscommunication, where McLaren thought it was a done deal but it, in fact, was not. Seems a bit spiteful to try to drag things out just to punish someone for jumping the gun a bit.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:31 pm 
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Exediron wrote:
Huw wrote:
I'm not saying it's one or the other but I do smell a whiff of rancorous obscuration hereabouts.

I smelled that as soon as I saw 'Helmut Marko' in the quote. I don't trust a word that cretin says.

My guess would be some sort of miscommunication, where McLaren thought it was a done deal but it, in fact, was not. Seems a bit spiteful to try to drag things out just to punish someone for jumping the gun a bit.


On the other hand, having the Key deal announced and confirmed, has ramifications on his present team in multiple ways, so I can certainly understand Mario being upset. If there was a contact signed through 2020, then having this news come out a year and a half before the contract inspires would anger most TOs I suspect. Further does this force Red Bull/Toro Rosso to minimize Key's role in the teams future designs? If so, the breaking news becomes even more costly to RB.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:03 pm 
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Blake wrote:
Exediron wrote:
Huw wrote:
I'm not saying it's one or the other but I do smell a whiff of rancorous obscuration hereabouts.

I smelled that as soon as I saw 'Helmut Marko' in the quote. I don't trust a word that cretin says.

My guess would be some sort of miscommunication, where McLaren thought it was a done deal but it, in fact, was not. Seems a bit spiteful to try to drag things out just to punish someone for jumping the gun a bit.


On the other hand, having the Key deal announced and confirmed, has ramifications on his present team in multiple ways, so I can certainly understand Mario being upset. If there was a contact signed through 2020, then having this news come out a year and a half before the contract inspires would anger most TOs I suspect. Further does this force Red Bull/Toro Rosso to minimize Key's role in the teams future designs? If so, the breaking news becomes even more costly to RB.


Key would be sent on his holidays the second Red Bull knew he was talking with McLaren and wanted to go so the announcement wouldn't have changed much from that standpoint, they'd still wall off Key from any data they need to protect moving forward.

He was done at STR the second he committed elsewhere. Now it's just a matter of when he starts at McLaren and how much if anything Red Bull want to play hardball. There'll be a time the shoe is on the other foot again so common sense tends to prevail and compensation agreed but RB and McLaren seem to make a habit out of dragging it out, the Fallows situation comes to mind but in the end they settled and they will again.

I'd guess Key has a contract that lasts until the end of 2019 but with maybe a clause he can leave a year early for a TD role if one at Red Bull isn't offered but that he has to sit out 2019 on Gardening leave if he leaves or something like that. That would give the confidence from McLaren's side that the deal can be announced but it would still technically leave Key contracted "long term" enough for Marko to get the hump and Red Bull to have something to negotiate with if McLaren want to cut that Gardening leave time down.

For dropping the Fallows dispute McLaren got Prod 6 months earlier, if I was a betting man I'd say STR get a driver, either Lando,Nyck or Stoff for 2019 and Key gets his gardening leave cut to either May/June next year so he has little influence over next years car or hopefully Jan 1st but we'll see.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 10:36 pm 
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https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/mcla ... 62/?nrt=54

Interesting to note that Mclaren even with their current struggles will not pay what I guess to be a sum of some kind for the early realise of James Key. Seems strange given their current struggles.....you’d think get him in ASAP to help turnaround the team.

Also states the team is in talks with Pat Fry for a return to the team in some capacity. My hunch is in a consultant type of role rather than day to day. Surely they should be trying to poach some of the top teams engineers from Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull not going back to guys like Pat Fry even though I think his experience could be somewhat helpful


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