Brown: James Key will be the ‘father’ of the MCL35

McLaren team chief Zak Brown has provided insight on the restructuring of the legendary team under his command, with James Key set to arrive soon at Woking to start work on the team’s 2020 car and help develop next year’s challenger.

In an end-of-the-year Q&A published on the McLaren website, Brown revealed, “I’m excited that James will be starting in time not to influence the 2019 car on its debut, but certainly to help its progression over the course of the season, and most importantly have him be the ‘father’ of the MCL35.”

This suggests a deal has been struck between Woking and Key’s contract holders Red Bull who took offence when Brown prematurely announced that the highly rated engineer would be joining McLaren when in fact no agreement was in place.

Key was put on gardening leave as his paymasters took offence and promised to hold the Englishman to his long-term contract. But word is a deal has been struck and an announcement is expected soon.

Meanwhile, Brown explained the team’s senior management structure, “We’ve brought in Gil de Ferran, who brings an unusual mix of a racer’s instinct with strategic acumen, promoted Andrea Stella to lead our performance development and analysis group, brought back Pat Fry as engineering director to lead the design of the MCL34.”

“Beyond these high-profile appointments, we have sought to put the right talent in the right places within the organisation, to make us more nimble and streamline our technical culture.”

“These changes are part of a constantly-evolving performance recovery plan. Formula 1 is a dynamic, not static, environment, so I expect further developments over the coming months,” added Brown.

Marko: McLaren will have to wait a long time for Key