Stella: New technical hires quite refreshing

McLaren technical restructure ousts David Sanchez

Stella: New technical hires quite refreshing

McLaren have announced a new structure of their technical department that led to the departure of David Sanchez who joined the team in January 2024.

Sanchez joined McLaren at the start of the current Formula 1 season in the capacity of Technical Director – Car Concept and Performance coming from Ferrari.

However, three races into the 2024 season, McLaren have restructured their technical department with Rob Marshall as Chief Designer, Neil Houldey taking over the role of Technical Director – Engineering, while Peter Prodromou will continue in his role as Technical Director – Aerodynamics.

As for the department which Sanchez oversaw, McLaren said in a statement that it “will be streamlined to focus on Performance and will be led by the Technical Director – Performance” with Team Principal Andrea Stella assuming “this role in the interim until a permanent appointment is confirmed”.

Stella commented on the changes, he said: “This further step in the evolution of the structure of the Technical Department and of the working model within the team signify our commitment to constantly enhancing our technical capabilities and workflows for greater efficiency and effectiveness.

A misalignment in expectations between Sanchez and the team

“Following thoughtful discussions between David Sanchez and the Team Leadership, the mutual decision has been taken for David to leave the team. Upon our joint reflection, it became apparent that the role, responsibilities, and ambitions associated with David’s position did not align with our original expectations when he agreed to join us in February 2023.

“Recognising this misalignment, both David and I agreed that it would be best to part ways now, so to enable him to pursue other opportunities that will better leverage the full scale and breadth of his remarkable skillset.

“We greatly and gratefully value the contributions that David has made during his relatively short time with us, and we wish him the best in his future endeavours,” the Italian concluded.

Sanchez added: “I am grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of this team. While the role we envisioned and had agreed to was not aligned with the reality of the position I found, I leave with respect for the leadership, admiration for the dedication of my colleagues, and appreciation for the openness and honesty in which we discussed and arrived at this decision.

“I wish this team continued success as it continues its journey to the front of the grid where it belongs. I look forward to my next challenge within F1,” the former Ferrari engineer concluded.

McLaren are currently third in the F1 Constructors’ Championship with 55 points, 22 points down on leaders Red Bull. Ferrari are currently second with the Japanese Grand Prix up next this weekend.