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2018 F1

Alonso hopes James Key joins McLaren soon

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McLaren and Toro Rosso are engaged in a tussle over a highly respected F1 technical figure.

McLaren announced in Hungary that James Key will be the struggling team’s new technical director.

But he is currently at Toro Rosso, whose boss Franz Tost declared: “James Key has a long term valid contract with the team.”

What is clear is that the Key news means that Matt Morris is leaving McLaren, amid the once-great team’s struggle even in the wake of the Honda era.

“It’s a question you should ask Zak (Brown),” Fernando Alonso said in Hungary.

“But when a specialist of James’ level comes to McLaren it’s always welcome. Let’s see if he arrives fast enough to be able to influence the work on this car and next year.”

Alonso wouldn’t comment on rumours he is trying to return to Ferrari, saying only: “One weekend Christian Horner says something, then it’s Rosberg or Palmer.

“I don’t comment on any of these rumours,” the Spaniard insisted.

But he did respond to reports that he has lined up a forthcoming Indycar test.

“I have many more races to do this year, not just in formula one. I will do one or two races in karting and in endurance racing and it will be difficult to add anything else to the schedule,” said Alonso.

He also backed McLaren amid what sections of the media are calling an obvious crisis.

“We are being honest with ourselves, understanding the cause of our problems and our lack of speed and looking for new ideas,” said the 36-year-old.

“It is all positive steps that will help make McLaren stronger in the future. In formula one you do not change things in one day, but everything I have seen in the last two or three races looked logical to me,” Alonso added.

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