Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost is confident that the teams highly-rated technical director James Key will remain in Faenza, despite rumours linking him with rival outfits.
Key has been linked with numerous teams of late including Scuderia Ferrari, after James Allison left the team by mutual consent back in July. Key spent two years at Sauber from 2010 to 2012, before moving south to the sister Red Bull team. 2012 proved to be a great year for the Key designed Sauber chassis as the team scored 4 podium finishes, which ultimately put Mexican driver Sergio Perez onto the map.
At Toro Rosso in the new engine formula, an under powered Renault unit, and a year old Ferrari unit hasn’t hampered the teams performance. The Englishman’s stock continues to rise, such is the regard for Key’s chassis designs.
Toro Rosso are aware that rival teams are keeping an eye on Key’s situation, team boss Franz Tost remains defiant that his star designer will not be going anywhere.
“Of course we have discussed this, but James has a contract with Toro Rosso,” Tost told Motorsport.com.
“James is an honest person and a gentleman. I expect that he respects his contract. He has also good working conditions and has a good team around him. Therefore I hope that he will stay with us.”
Tost is well aware that a midfield team like Toro Rosso will never compete with the prestigious marques of a Ferrari for example, but working for Toro Rosso has its own benefits and rewards to reap.
When asked if Key could find the same level of job satisfaction elsewhere, Tost said: “It depends on the environment.
“I personally think that currently the environment on the technical side of Toro Rosso is positive. The working conditions are good. The rest we will see then next year with what’s going on with the chassis and the Renault power unit.”
Key left Sauber when the team was on an upward curve, so if the right opportunity came knocking few would be surprised if James moved on again. The question is… do Red Bull consider James the heir to Adrian Newey’s throne? Could the two work together or would James want that ‘total’ control in the tech department?