While Red Bull make things difficult for James Key to move to McLaren, it appears that the Toro Rosso technical director was deemed surplus to requirements when he did not buy into a new concept being implemented across both teams owned by the energy drinks organisation.
In July, McLaren chief Zak Brown announced that James Key would be joining the Woking outfit, triggering outrage from Key’s paymasters who have since made it difficult for the engineer to move any time soon.
But things appear to have evolved as Helmut Marko all but confirmed an agreement of sorts had been reached when he told Motorsport-Total, “There is an agreement with McLaren and there will probably be a press release when he can start at McLaren.”
Brown has declared publically that Key will oversee development of next year’s MCL34 in which he has had no input, but the MCL35 will be the Englishman’s baby.
According to Marko, Key became marginalised when under Dietrich Mateschitz’s instructions the teams was told to develop a concept to synergise workforces.
Marko explained, “It shouldn’t be that we have almost the same technical team in Faenza as we have in Milton Keynes, in terms of the number of people.”
“Since then we have worked out a concept that is in the process of being implemented to this day. One problem was that James Key was not so happy with the concept, so, all in all, we reached a final solution that it would be easier without him.”
“The position will not be filled. A technical director in this sense is no longer necessary because of Red Bull Racing’s new concept,” added Marko.
This suggests that Adrian Newey will be the ‘uber’ technical chief for the organisation’s two Formula 1 teams, a prospect that is likely to raise some serious questions from their rivals.
If teams are unhappy with the synergies between Haas and Ferrari what will they think of this Red Bull concept?
Unless this is a ‘lost in translation’ moment here, there is a definite unifying or merging (whatever you want to call it) of workforces happening within the organisation, which Marko is happy to chat about while adamant all is within the boundaries of Formula 1 rules.
On the flipside, and for argument’s sake, is this perhaps the way forward for a future with four-car teams?
The report also claims: “Toro Rosso will contest the 2019 season with much of the Red Bull RB14 from the 2018 season.”
And adds: “Just recently, three trucks delivered RB14 parts from the UK to the factory at Faenza. Toro Rosso is currently building their 2019 car out of these.”