McLaren have revealed details of big structural changes to the team including the departure of Executive Technical Director, James Key.
The team say the changes have been in the works for a number of months and the aim of them is to create “the foundations for a stronger and more innovative Formula 1 team to enable future success”.
After a tough period in the mid 2010s, McLaren had then seen a resurgence as the team worked their way to 3rd in the championship in 2020, the following year saw multiple podiums and their first win since 2012. However that momentum, and the regular fights for the high scoring points places, faltered with the big regulation changes that came into effect for last season and with no points to show for themselves after the first two rounds this year, it’s been McLaren’s worst start since 2017.
The biggest of the changes is that the Executive Technical Director role has been disposed of and instead McLaren will be creating a Technical Executive Team which will be comprised of three members, each in specialised Technical Director roles, who will report directly to the Team Principal, Andrea Stella.
Key will leave the team and he will be replaced by the three new Technical Directors – Peter Prodromou who will lead the Aerodynamics team, David Sanchez who will rejoin McLaren from Ferrari at the start of 2024 to look after Car Concept and Performance, while Neil Houldey will take on the Engineering and Design role.
Outside of that trio Prodromou will have support in the form of Giuseppe Pesce, who will take on the Director, Aerodynamics & Chief of Staff job. While Stella will be supported by Piers Thynne in the expanded Chief Operating Officer role as they aim to “create an innovative and effective F1 team” and get the team back to the front of the grid.
“Firstly, I’d like to thank James for his hard work and commitment during his time at McLaren and wish him well for the future,” Stella said. “Looking ahead, I am determined and fully focused on leading McLaren back to the front of the field.
“Since taking on the Team Principal role I have been given the mandate to take a strategic approach to ensure the team is set on a long-term foundation, for us to build on over the years.
“This new structure provides clarity and effectiveness within the team’s technical department and puts us in a strong position to maximise performance, including optimising the new infrastructure upgrades we have coming in 2023.”
McLaren Racing’s CEO, Zak Brown, added that the restructure was necessary to “ensure the long-term success of the team”.
“It’s important now,” Brown said, “that we ensure we have a solid foundation as the next phase of our journey. It has been clear to me for some time that our technical development has not moved at a quick enough pace to match our ambition of returning to the front of the grid.
“I’m pleased that, having completed a full review with Andrea, we are now able to implement the restructure required to set the wheels in motion to turn this around. These strategic changes ensure the long-term success of the team and are necessary to see McLaren get back to winning ways.
“We have everything coming into place now with our people and infrastructure and alongside an exciting driver line-up, I’m determined to see McLaren get back to where we should be.”