In 2019, the McLaren resurgence began in earnest and the team’s efforts were rewarded with a podium in Brazil, courtesy Carlos Sainz Jr. However, recent developments suggest that they are only going to build on this success by reshuffling their senior management ahead of the 2020 season. The latest news reveals that Performance Director Andrea Stella has been promoted to Racing Director.
The role was previously occupied by former Lotus F1 team principal Eric Boullier, who left McLaren in 2018 and became part of the French Grand Prix organisers. Now, Stella will be “leading the team at race weekends”, as per McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown. The move is part of a major restructuring process being undertaken by the McLaren F1 team’s senior management under team boss Andreas Seidl.
Seidl said: “Motorsport is a team sport. You can never do it alone. I have a very strong line-up of people reporting in to me, with James Key as Technical Director, Piers Thynne as Production Director and Andrea Stella as Racing Director.”
The Spaniard insisted that his crew have his full trust, especially in everything that they do. Seidl believes that it is imperative to empower people and encourage them to make decisions and take risks.
Key was recruited from Toro Rosso in 2019, while Thynne has been in the McLaren ranks since 2008 and steadily worked his way up the ladder. Seidl led a massive shake-up in organisational structure when he joined McLaren from Porsche’s endurance racing squad, creating a “simple traditional motorsport organisation”, compared to the Ron Dennis era.
For now, the team’s focus is trained on the MCL35, McLaren’s 2020 F1 challenger, and that car will be closely monitored by Mercedes boss Toto Wolff. The team have yet to set a date for the new car’s unveiling, however, Brown chose to exercise caution over the car’s potential.