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McLaren’s new structure replaces technical director

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McLaren technical director

McLaren Racing is gearing up for success with a new technical department structure aimed at streamlining workflow and improving overall performance. CEO Zak Brown and team principal Andrea Stella are leading the charge, as they redefine roles and responsibilities to build fast cars in modern Formula 1.

Zak Brown, the CEO of McLaren Racing, has given reasons for instructing the team principal, Andrea Stella, to examine the possibility of reorganizing the technical department of the team. In a recent development, McLaren revealed their plans to introduce a new structure, replacing the previous technical director, James Key, with three department heads.

Although the task of exploring the technical department’s restructuring was one of Andrea Stella’s initial responsibilities after taking over from Andreas Seidl, who left for Sauber during the off-season, according to Zak Brown, the need for this change had become evident even before this transition.

Zak Brown has mentioned that Andrea Stella was asked to examine the technical team, and when reflecting on the 2022 season, he recalled the initial challenges faced during testing related to brake ducts. Despite these issues, the car was performing reasonably well until driver-related matters arose, which diverted the team’s attention and became the focus of media attention.

Furthermore, Zak Brown has stated that he was dissatisfied with the pace of development of the racing car in the latter half of 2022. He compared McLaren’s progress with that of other teams, highlighting the discrepancy between where McLaren started and where they ended up compared to their competitors. These concerns were not publicly visible and were brewing “underneath the surface.”

Zak Brown mentioned that the team principal change towards the end of 2022 provided him with an opportunity to work more closely with Andrea Stella and instruct him to take a closer look at the technical department. Stella, being familiar with the team, was able to examine the situation and propose a model that made sense to the team and the stakeholders. Brown expressed satisfaction with the new structure that was put in place as a result of this examination.

Andrea Stella’s proposed model for the technical department divides it into three distinct areas. The aerodynamics team will be led by Peter Prodromou, while the car’s concept and performance will be overseen by David Sanchez, who will join McLaren from Ferrari next year. Neil Hudley has been promoted to manage engineering and design.

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Regarding the new model proposed for the technical department, Andrea Stella has stated that when he joined McLaren in 2015, there were three technical directors, and their areas of competence were not clearly defined, causing confusion within the team. The proposed restructuring will address this issue by defining the roles of each department head, making it easier for everyone to understand their responsibilities and streamline the workflow.

Andrea Stella has emphasized that the aim of the new structure is to have clear leadership and accountability for the three key areas necessary for building fast cars in modern Formula 1: aerodynamics, car concept, and engineering. The proposed model will ensure that each department head is responsible for their area of expertise and can work towards improving the team’s overall performance in their respective areas.

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