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Stella Highlights McLaren's Progress Against Red Bull

Stella Highlights McLaren’s Progress Against Red Bull

06/04/2024

Amid qualifying results at Suzuka, McLaren’s Team Principal Andrea Stella showcases optimism, focusing on closing the gap to Red Bull Racing.

Andrea Stella, McLaren F1 Team Principal, remains optimistic after qualifying at Suzuka, despite possibly hoping for better results.

Following Lando Norris’s third-place and Oscar Piastri’s sixth-place qualifications, Stella emphasizes that the gap to Red Bull Racing is what matters to him.

“Both drivers performed well in qualifying. It was a positive qualifying session, not just because of the final result, but also because of the strong starting position for the race.”

“The lap times themselves, compared to six months ago, are more significant to me. We’ve significantly closed the gap to Red Bull, and while it’s still very tight with all the cars around us, it’s encouraging to see that we’re ahead of them.”

“So, we’re certainly taking positive points from this qualifying, but at the same time, we know Japan suits our car’s characteristics well.”

Stella was also asked to provide more details on the shock announcement of David Sanchez leaving the team.

Sanchez joined the Woking-based team as the Director of Car Concept and Performance in January after leaving Ferrari at the start of 2023.

However, on the eve of this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix, McLaren confirmed its decision to part ways with Sanchez just three months after his arrival, announcing a new technical restructuring following his departure.

“Formula 1 is a dynamic environment; it evolves very quickly. We’ve been considering how we can create the most effective organization.”

“We looked at this with David, what the best setup was and what was in his best interest.”

After noting a “misalignment” between the two parties in his announcement, Stella suggested an issue with the significance of Sanchez’s role within the team.

“I think relative to when we agreed for him to join us, we’ve seen a certain shift in context.”

“We thought together that he needed fair opportunities, possibly in a more significant role than he deserves, I’m sure, and would fulfill with all his qualities, potentially in other teams.”

“So, we examined the most efficient setup and saw that Rob Marshall (Chief Designer) and Neil Houldey (Technical Director – Engineering) play a significant role.”

“Therefore, we’re satisfied with how we’re approaching the future from a technical standpoint, and we certainly wish David all the best in his future endeavors.”

Stella Highlights McLaren's Progress Against Red Bull

Stella Highlights McLaren’s Progress Against Red Bull. Stella Highlights McLaren’s Progress Against Red Bull

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