McLaren technical director steps down after three months

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A McLaren reorganized the technical structure of its Formula 1since the technical director David Sanchez left the team Woking after just three months.

Sanchez left Ferrari to McLaren in January, among a series of hires to grow the engineering team, but it became apparent that his roles as technical director responsible for concept and performance were “not aligned”.

The team leader, Andrea Stellawill take over Sanchez’s duties at this time as the team searches for a replacement to lead the performance side of the team.

In a statement, Stella commented that he was grateful for Sanchez’s contributions during his short time on the team, but acknowledged that the initial presentation did not translate into the reality of the job.

“After careful discussions between David Sanchez and the team leadership, the mutual decision was made for David to leave the team,” said Stella.

“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.

“Recognizing this misalignment, David and I agreed that it would be best to part ways now so that he could pursue other opportunities that would better leverage the full scale and breadth of his remarkable skill set.

“We greatly and gratefully value the contributions David has made during his relatively short time with us and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Zak Brown, McLaren Racing CEO, David Sanchez, Rob Marshall, Andrea Stella, McLaren Team Principal

Photo by: McLaren

Sanchez’s departure has instigated a series of changes, as former Red Bull engineer Rob Marshall now takes on the role of chief designer.

Neil Houldley takes the reins from Marshall as technical director of engineering, while Peter Prodromou remains in the role as technical director of aerodynamics.

Sanchez began his F1 career with Renault before moving to McLaren in 2007 as a senior aerodynamicist, remaining with the team through Lewis Hamilton’s first title year.

The Frenchman moved to Ferrari in 2012, remaining there for more than a decade before signing a contract last year to join McLaren at the start of 2024.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to have been part of this team,” said Sanchez.

“Although the role we envisioned and agreed upon was not aligned with the reality of the position I found, I left with respect for the leadership, admiration for the dedication of my colleagues, and appreciation for the openness and honesty with 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’m looking forward to my next challenge in F1.”

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