Despite Red Bull saying James Key is going nowhere, at least not for a long time, McLaren have a “plan” that will see the technical director head to Woking.
Ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend, McLaren announced the signing of Key as their new technical director.
They revealed that he would join them after a period of gardening leave from Toro Rosso.
Red Bull, though, responded by saying the 46-year-old has a “long-term” deal with Toro Rosso and that “McLaren will have to wait for quite a long time” to sign him.
Brown, though, remains confident that Key will be a McLaren man in the future.
“We have hired James Key, he will become our technical director,” said the McLaren chief.
“We do not have a start date. He does have a current agreement with Toro Rosso. Of course we respect contractual situations.
“Toro Rosso and Red Bull are understandably upset that they’re losing a great talent like James Key.
“He’s recognised as one of the best technical directors up and down pit lane, so we’re very excited to have him join us in due course.”
Asked if he still felt a deal could be done with some for of compensation arrangement with Toro Rosso, Brown revealed he has a “plan” to get Key over to Woking.
“There’s always in the world of F1 ways and opportunities to change situations. We have a plan.
“We obviously knew his current employment situation, and we’re completely comfortable working around that situation.
“As we’ve stated before, we’ve done some restructuring, we’re doing some hiring, we’re not done yet, so we’re just head down, operating according to the internal plan that we have.”
He added: “We’re not done yet, both with bringing in talent, and our final structure.
“We have a good sense of what we’re going to do, but that’s not something that we want to make public.”