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Fernando Alonso hopes James Key joins McLaren soon

McLaren and Toro Rosso are engaged in a tussle over a highly-respected Formula 1 technical figure.

McLaren and Toro Rosso are engaged in a tussle over a highly-respected Formula 1 technical figure.

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

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

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's 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 would not comment on rumours that 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.

However, 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.

The 36-year-old 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," he said.

"It is all positive steps that will help make McLaren stronger in the future. In Formula 1 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 goes into Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix in eighth place in the driver standings.

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McLaren's Fernando Alonso before practice for the Monaco Grand Prix on May 24, 2018
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