McLaren announces technical team changes after David Sanchez departure

McLaren announces technical team changes after David Sanchez departure

David Sanchez who was one of McLaren’s key technical acquisitions for 2024 F1 has already left the team only three months after starting his new role.

The technical team at McLaren has undergone organizational changes after recently hired David Sanchez who was in charge of car concept and performance left the Woking-based outfit just after three months.

Sanchez who was a longtime designer and head of vehicle concept at Ferrari, announced his switch to McLaren a year ago as the move became official on January 1 this year following a mandatory time off for gardening leave.

The Frenchman took over as one of three McLaren technical directors, with duties involving car concept and performance under team principal Andrea Stella’s overhauled McLaren technical leadership which was introduced one month after Sanchez’s initial signing following the departure of technical director James Key in March 2023.

However, it is apparent Sanchez did not discover at McLaren the duties and responsibilities that had originally been agreed upon with the team.

Sanchez addressed his departure by stating that the McLaren role he signed up for was “not aligned” with the one he was currently holding.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of this team,” he said. “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 said Sanchez’s departure was a “mutual decision” and described the move as a “next step in the evolution of the technical department.”

“Following thoughtful discussions between David Sanchez and the team leadership, the mutual decision has been taken for David to leave the team,” he said.

“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.”

Rob Marshall will now serve as McLaren’s Chief Designer while Neil Houldey will take over as the Technical Director of Engineering. Peter Prodromou will remain in his current role as Technical Director of Aerodynamics.

According to McLaren, the Technical Director of Performance will oversee the restructured Concept and Performance division which Sanchez was previously leading, with a focus on Performance.

McLaren F1 team boss Andrea Stella will remain in his role in the interim until a permanent appointment is made clear.

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