McLaren will have to wait a "long time" to get Key - Marko

Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko is adamant that McLaren will not be able to employ James Key until the Englishman's Toro Rosso contract runs out.

McLaren will have to wait a "long time" to get Key - Marko

McLaren announced on Thursday that the Toro Rosso technical director will be joining the team, although it would not confirm a date.

It is understood that McLaren boss Zak Brown was talking to Red Bull about the terms of Key's departure, but those discussions hit a snag when the story emerged in the media, and was subsequently confirmed by the Woking team.

It now appears that Red Bull wants Key to fulfil his contractual obligations to Toro Rosso.

"He has a long-term contract with Toro Rosso," Marko told Motorsport.com. "We had a discussion with Zak, and instead of coming back to us, there was a press release done.

"So we'll stick to the contract, and McLaren will have to wait for quite a long time."

Marko made it clear that he expects Key to see out his contract, which is understood to stretch to 2020.

"Of course. There's a contract for quite a long time. Why do we have contracts? We have to analyse the whole situation.

"As McLaren is making press announcements, we have to look seriously at the legal situation. But it's sure we won't release him earlier."

Asked if Key is on gardening leave, he said: "As far as I know he's on holiday at the moment, and we won't put him in a position where he gets all the latest information, that's clear."

Marko also downplayed suggestions that Red Bull would use the situation to get access to Lando Norris, having sounded out McLaren about the F2 frontrunner earlier in the year.

"It's a very clear situation, if they don't put him in an F1 seat by September 30th, he is a free [agent], so what do you want to deal?"

Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner indicated that the senior team is also keeping an eye on the situation, because it has some concerns about Key's knowledge.

"Obviously it's a situation between James and Toro Rosso," Horner told Sky F1. "But Red Bull Technology provide services to Toro Rosso, so IP is obviously extremely sensitive.

"That's what we're pretty protective of. We're obviously keen to have an understanding of what the situation is with James and Toro Rosso in the relatively near future." 

shares
comments
Will Red Bull or Ferrari win Hungary F1? Vettel leads Bulls on Day 1 as Mercedes falters
Previous article

Will Red Bull or Ferrari win Hungary F1? Vettel leads Bulls on Day 1 as Mercedes falters

Next article

Renault gets suspended fine for rare tyre mix-up

Renault gets suspended fine for rare tyre mix-up
Load comments
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021