F1 News

Sanchez leaves McLaren already and triggers staff reshuffle

Sanchez leaves McLaren already and triggers staff reshuffle

2 April at 11:18
  • Ludo van Denderen

Only a few days ago, McLaren CEO Zak Brown expressed how important continuity is within an organisation. He cited Red Bull Racing and Ferrari as examples; teams that had worked with the same people in key positions for years. He wanted that to happen at McLaren as well. But that isn't turning into reality yet. David Sanchez, who moved over from Ferrari in January as Technical Director is already leaving the team.

McLaren has also made a number of other personnel changes. For instance, Rob Marshall, also recruited recently, will now assume the role of chief designer. Neil Houldey will become Technical Director of Engineering, while Peter Prodromou will continue his role as Technical Director of Aerodynamics. The Concept and Performance department will be modified to focus on the Performance area. Andrea Stella will lead this department on an interim basis until a permanent new staff member is found. 

Partnership with Sanchez not as hoped

Team Principal Andrea Stella believes the shuffle at the top of the organisation is necessary: “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," he 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," Stella concluded.

Sanchez wants to continue in Formula 1

Sanchez also commented: "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.”