UNITED KINGDOM: After a disappointing start to the 2023 Formula One season, McLaren has announced a significant overhaul of its technical department.
McLaren confirmed the changes on Thursday, which involve moving away from a single executive technical director role and creating a three-part F1 Technical Executive Team.
The restructuring comes in response to the team’s lacklustre performance in the first two Grands Prix of the season, where they failed to score any points.
McLaren CEO Zak Brown said that the team’s technical development had not moved quickly enough to match their ambitions of returning to the front of the grid.
As part of the shake-up, James Key has left the team and created three Technical Director roles within McLaren as a part of the changes.
Peter Prodromou, who has worked at Woking since 1991, will become Technical Director for Aerodynamics.
David Sanchez, who recently left Ferrari, will join McLaren as the Technical Director for Car Concept and Performance.
However, he will not join the team until 1st January 2024 due to contractual obligations with Ferrari, his former team.
McLaren promoted Neil Houldey to Technical Director for Engineering and Design.
In addition, Giuseppe Pesce will become Director of Aerodynamics and Chief of Staff, and Piers Thynne will be the Chief Operating Officer for the McLaren F1 team, working alongside team boss Andrea Stella.
Although the restructure could be seen as a direct response to the team’s poor start to the season, the announcement emphasises that it has been the work of several months and is part of several new key infrastructure projects set to come online throughout 2023.
Stella said the new structure would provide clarity and effectiveness within the team’s technical department and put them in a prime position to maximise performance, including optimising the new infrastructure upgrades McLaren has coming in 2023.
Brown said the changes were necessary to see McLaren return to winning ways, adding that they had everything in place with their people, infrastructure, and exciting driver line-up.
The McLaren team is looking to improve on last year’s third-place finish in the constructors’ championship, and the changes are part of the team’s long-term strategy to achieve success.
The new Technical Executive Team will face the challenges of building a solid foundation for the next phase of McLaren’s journey and taking a strategic approach to ensure the team returns to the front of the field.
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