McLaren announce shock exit as part of structure changes

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McLaren has announced a new technical structure as it continues to push towards the front of the Formula 1 field.

David Sanchez has left his position as technical director of car concept of performance just three months after joining the squad from Ferrari.

McLaren moved away from a sole technical director role last year and instead split its department into three, with separate figures overseeing each area.

In an updated arrangement, Rob Marshall has assumed the role of chief designer following his arrival from Red Bull.

Neil Houldey has been moved to the technical director of engineering role while Peter Prodromou will continue in his role as technical director of aerodynamics.

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

“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.”

Stella to hold interim technical role

Additionally, the concept and performance department will be shifted to focus on performance and will be led by the technical director of performance.

As McLaren searches for a permanent appointment, team principal Andrea Stella will take on the role on an interim basis.

This further step in the evolution of the structure of the Technical Department and of the working model within the team signifies our commitment to constantly enhancing our technical capabilities and workflows for greater efficiency and effectiveness,” Stella said.

“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.”

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