James Key, Toro Rossso, 2017

Toro Rosso technical director Key to replace Morris at McLaren

2018 F1 season

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Toro Ross’s technical director James Key is joining McLaren to replace its engineering director Matt Morris, the team has confirmed.

The news follows the departure of racing director Eric Boullier from McLaren in the wake of the team’s troubled start to 2018. Morris has been with the team for the past five years.

McLaren admitted during the British Grand Prix weekend its current chassis is producing less downforce than last year’s.

Their best result so far this season is the fifth place Fernando Alonso scored in the first round in Australia. Since then the team has fallen to seventh place in the constructors’ championship, one place ahead of Toro Rosso.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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11 comments on “Toro Rosso technical director Key to replace Morris at McLaren”

  1. Ross Brawn would indeed be an exciting technical director for Toro Rosso, him, at the head of an Italian team again.
    And then, Toro Ross would be a suitable name.

    As it is. TYPO!

  2. Best move McLaren have made in years. I know Peter Prodromou was a highly anticipated signing but the leadership was in shambles. Key has consistently produced solid cars in struggling teams, I’d be confident of McLaren recovering to 4th now and maybe even 3rd if Red Bull struggle with Honda.

    Just sponsors needed now.

    1. Remember the massive impact James Key had at Sauber? He followed that with stirling work at Toro Rosso. This is massive for McLaren. Resurgence to race winners by 2021, I say!

      What a bloody shame he didn’t go to Williams instead.

  3. Ouch! This will hurt Red Bull!

    1. Probably in more ways than one.

  4. Neil (@neilosjames)
    26th July 2018, 15:10

    Been doing a great job at Toro Rosso, nice to see him get a move to a bigger team. Also nice for McLaren, as long as they let him work and do his own thing…

  5. Good, McLaren really needed some fresh blood in there. And i could have bet this job was offered, besides James Key, to Andrew Green from Force India. Both highly skilled Brits, producing very good work in underfinanced teams.

  6. Bad news for Toro Rosso. Is there any news on how long the gardening leave?

  7. Great initial designs at Toro Rosso let down by poor mid-season development–absolutely not a fault of Key’s. Should be able to do something special at McLaren.

  8. Franz said on Twitter that Key isn’t going to McLaren.

    1. A ploy to get something back from McLaren.

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