Saturday, March 2, 2024

“I think this configuration is strong” – Stella on new Leadership Structure at McLaren

Following the recent reshuffle of the leadership structure within the McLaren F1 Team, Andrea Stella says they are expecting ‘competitive ideas’ that hopefully will see the team move forward within the FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

Stella took over as Team Principal at Woking during the winter after the departure of Andreas Seidl, and after a lacklustre start to the 2023 season, James Key left his role as Executive Technical Director.

Peter Prodromou has been promoted to head the aerodynamic division at McLaren, while David Sanchez was brought in from Scuderia Ferrari to lead car concept and performance.  More recently, McLaren announced the imminent arrival of Rob Marshall from Oracle Red Bull Racing as their new Technical Director, with Neil Houldey as his deputy.

Stella believes this new line-up will give McLaren a similar set-up to the likes of Red Bull and should offer them a chance of gathering many ideas that could be the difference between being in the midfield and jumping up to the teams at the front of the field.

“I think this configuration is strong, because it’s not like about who makes decisions, but it’s much more about how can we generate competitive ideas to bring to the table,” said Stella to Motorsport.com.

“What McLaren has been missing is not who makes decisions. It was more about, can we bring to the table competitive ideas to make a quick car. That’s where we have struggled. We think this organisation addresses this.

“Ultimately, this organisation is not dissimilar from a conceptual point of view from what happens in other teams. It pretty much is the way how Red Bull operate, for instance.”

Stella says it was important to select the ‘best leader’ in each important department within the McLaren set-up, with the Team Principal saying that aerodynamics, performance and concept all need to work efficiently if they are to succeed.

“In order to get the organisation to work efficiently, I think the most important thing is: what technical functions do you need to cover in modern Formula 1? For me, this is aerodynamics, performance and concept,” Stella added.

“We talk about 2026 [new engine regulations]: who’s going to look at 2026 and start to figure out, ‘How should the car look like, as a whole?’, which is performance and concept.  Then you need to make all this become real, which is engineering and design.

“So, that’s the approach we have adopted at McLaren, which is quite conceptual as an approach: aerodynamics, performance and concept, engineering and design.  Then we decided we want to pick the best leader in each of these areas.”

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