McLaren ready to sweeten deal for Key

James Key: McLaren ready to work on deal

James Key: McLaren ready to work on deal

McLaren would be prepared to put together a financial package or use a driver as a makeweight in order to bring in new technical director James Key early.

McLaren have announced Key will be leaving his role at Toro Rosso to join them, but he still has a lengthy contract to honour with the Red Bull junior team.

So, in order to accelerate the process, McLaren would consider some form of a compensation deal which could include one of their drivers heading in the opposite direction to Key.

Toro Rosso had already made an approach for Lando Norris earlier in the season to replace the under-pressure Brendon Hartley, and McLaren would be open to a scenario which sees the Brit being used as a makeweight.

“In the world of F1 there’s always ways and opportunities to change situations,” Brown said. “That’s certainly something that we’d potentially consider.

“We have hired James Key and he will become our technical director.

“He does have a current agreement with Toro Rosso and of course we respect contractual situations.

“I think Toro Rosso and Red Bull are understandably upset that they’re losing a great talent like James Key.

“We have a plan, we obviously knew his current employment situation and we’re completely comfortable working around that situation.”

Key’s impending arrival is all part of a major backroom shake-up at McLaren which has already seen technical bosses Tim Goss and Matt Morris, plus racing director Eric Boullier, depart, with sporting director Gil de Ferran and performance director Andrea Stella forming a new-look McLaren.

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