Brown explains McLaren technical restructure

Zak Brown has explained the need for a McLaren F1 restructure

Zak Brown has explained the need for a McLaren F1 restructure

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown has explained why he asked team principal Andrea Stella to look at a restructure the squad’s technical department.

Last month McLaren announced it would implement a new model with three separate department heads replacing former technical director James Key, who has left the business.

It was one of Stella’s first tasks in the role he took over from Andreas Seidl, who joined Sauber during the off-season.

However, the need for change within the technical structure was, to Brown, apparent even before then.

Stella asked to look at technical team

“Obviously, we started the year with some challenges in testing with the brake ducts,” Brown reflected on 2022.

“The car was okay and then of course, we had our driver-related issues that we were working through, which kind of took the attention if you’d like and kind of the headline.

“Meanwhile, kind of underneath the surface, I wasn’t happy with the pace of the development of the racing car.

“That was the second half of last year.

“If you’re going to look at the pace of development of some of the other teams, where they started and where they ended, versus where we started and where we ended.

“Of course, we had a team principal change towards the end of the year which allowed me the opportunity to be more aggressive in working with Andrea, to give him the mandate of ‘take a look at the team’.

“That’s exactly what he did.

“And obviously, him having been there, meant he wasn’t starting from ground zero if you like, and ultimately came up with a model that makes total sense to us and those internally.”

Three-pronged approach

Stella’s model sees the technical department effectively divided in three, with Peter Prodromou heading up the aerodynamics team.

David Sanchez, who will join from Ferrari at the start of next year, will oversee the car concept and performance, with Neil Hudley promoted to look after engineering and design.

“At the time, which is when I joined McLaren in 2015, there were three technical directors,” Stella explained of his new model.

“I think the separation of competence was very confusing. Even for internal people, it was quite difficult to understand, like, who was doing what.

“We want, in the structure that we have deployed, to have clear leadership in relation to the three fundamental areas to make quick cars in the modern Formula 1, which is aerodynamics, car concept, and engineering.”

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