(Paris) In difficulty since the start of the season, the British Formula 1 team McLaren announced Thursday a major restructuring with in particular the departure of its executive technical director James Key.
“The team made the decision to abandon its operation with a single executive technical director in charge of all operations. Instead, an executive technical team will be created comprising three technical directors who will report directly to team principal Andrea Stella,” the Woking-based team said in a statement.
Peter Prodromou becomes technical director in charge of aerodynamics and Neil Houldey inherits the position of technical director in charge of engineering and design.
David Sanchez, who has just left Ferrari after ten years with the Scuderia, will complete the trio from January 1, 2024, when his notice period ends. The Frenchman will then become technical director in charge of concept and performance in a team where he has already worked from 2007 to 2012.
“I am determined to bring McLaren back to the forefront […] This new structure brings clarity and efficiency within the team’s technical department and puts us in a strong position to maximize performance,” said Andrea Stella, named Team principal last December following the departure of Andreas Seidl from Alfa-Romeo.
McLaren, whose last Grand Prix victory dates back to 2021, had lost its place as the fourth best team in the World Championship in 2022 in favor of the French team Alpine. And the start of the 2023 season has been disastrous with no points scored by Briton Lando Norris and Australian novice Oscar Piastri in the first two races in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
The Woking team is also relying heavily on its new wind tunnel which has just been completed and which it should be able to use by the summer.
McLaren, a continuous presence in F1 since 1966, has won twelve drivers’ world championship titles, the last in 2008 with Lewis Hamilton, and eight constructors’ titles, but none since 1998.