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Toro Rosso not wanting to lose technical director to sister team Red Bull

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Toro Rosso not wanting to lose technical director to sister team Red Bull
Aug 6, 2015, 10:28 AM

Red Bull hasn't had the best of starts to the season, with the double podium in Hungary the only highlight from a period where they were sometimes ...

Red Bull hasn't had the best of starts to the season, with the double podium in Hungary the only highlight from a period where they were sometimes outclassed by junior team Toro Rosso.

Behind the scenes in the last few months, there have been discussions about the position of Toro Rosso technical director James Key, who has led the junior outfit to produce its best chassis for many years, with suggestions internally that he should be moved across to Milton Keynes to bolster the technical staff of the main team. Although Adrian Newey is still a presence with the team and attended the race in Hungary, he is no longer hands-on in a day to day capacity.

James Key, Toro Rosso

But Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost has made it clear that he is reluctant to let his star technical man, or any of his key staff, leave the team,

"I don’t let them go! No, the value of a team is always the quality of the employees," he said. "And over the last three to five years we really pushed very hard to recruit high-quality people and James Key, our technical director, was the key person to do this and he surrounded himself with very, very good, high-skilled, capable people and of course all these top engineers have long-term fixed contracts and apart from this, at Toro Rosso, the infrastructure is getting better.

"Our new building will be finished at the end of this month," he added. "That means the working environment is also quite good, because all the engineers are under one roof and we expect better communication, better co-operation and at the end even better performance.

"Apart from this, Toro Rosso I’m convinced has a good future. We are on the financial side also quite healthy and I expect also some success in the future and therefore I don’t see any reason why one of the top people should leave the team, especially after the hard period to build up everything, then of course the people want to see the results and want to be involved when hopefully we will have some success."

Max Verstappen

The 12 points scored by Max Verstappen in Hungary was the breakthrough that Toro Rosso was looking for, after enduring a poor spell due to reliability issues. Despite qualifying regularly in the Top 10, they had only six points scoring finishes prior to Hungary and were losing ground to rivals like Force India that scored 28 points in the five races from Spain to Great Britain in comparison with seven points for Toro Rosso.

Perhaps Hungary will prove a turning point as Toro Rosso battle Force India for fifth in the championship.

Meanwhile Tost has told official site F1.com that talks with Renault over a possible takeover - which he was advocating a few months ago as the best route for his team - have gone quiet. This comes as Renault Sport management has completed its dossier on proposed next steps for the marque in F1 and this is now with CEO Carlos Ghosn for a final decision,

Tost said. "Yes, they [Renault] have visited us in Faenza and Bicester but in the last weeks it has been quiet, so I assume that they have decided to buy another team.

"How that would influence Toro Rosso we have to see. We have to wait for Renault's move and announcement. Then we have to discuss a programme that fits the requests and needs of Toro Rosso."
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