Toro Rosso has officially appointed Jody Egginton as new technical director following the departure of James Key to McLaren.

In a coordinated statement from the two Formula 1 teams, it was confirmed Key will move to McLaren as technical director on March 25 and on the same day Egginton will be officially promoted as Toro Rosso’s new technical chief.

Egginton, who has led the Toro Rosso technical team since Key’s contract negotiations with McLaren began, has headed up the STR14’s development during pre-season testing at Circuit de Catalunya and effectively served in Key’s role.

Speaking during the first pre-season test in Barcelona, Egginton was pressed on who led Toro Rosso’s 2019 car design with the technical head playing it down as an evolution on the team’s previous car – its first with Honda as its power unit partner.

“It’s unfortunate James left in late July, at that stage we had a concept of what we wanted for the car and a view of the major milestones,” Egginton said. “We’ve modified a few of those, that’s part of the process anyway, especially with the regulation changes, they were frozen ultimately fairly late, September, October talking about fine detail, there was an evolution there. So we changed one or two things.

“In the background we changed one or two things on how we organised the windtunnel, how we map the car aerodynamically, some of our process we’ve asked a few questions of ourselves. None of it’s a revolution it’s an evolution.

“So we did take the opportunity to reshuffle a few things but it’s not fundamental, it’s areas where we thought we could push a bit harder and make some gains and in areas where we thought we didn’t need to fiddle much, everyone getting together, but nothing fundamental.”

Egginton joined Toro Rosso in 2014 following the collapse of Caterham and has also worked with Force India, Spyker, Jordan Grand Prix and Tyrell in F1.