McLaren is already noticing a positive impact from the arrivals of David Sanchez from Ferrari and Rob Marshall from Red Bull as part of its senior technical leadership team.
The two senior engineers were announced as McLaren hires last year, but both started work at the team at the beginning of this month. Team principal Andrea Stella says the structure was already in place ahead of their arrival, but the fact that Sanchez and Marshall have reinforced the direction the team is heading in, as well as inspiring fresh ideas among staff, has proven to be an early boost.
“So in terms of organization in the technical team they actually fill roles that were already there,” Stella said. “The structure has always been with these three technical directors; one working on aero – Peter Prodromou – one on performance and concept – now David Sanchez – and then engineering and design [Rob Marshall] that makes all the ideas generated in aero and performance and concept become part of the car.
“That was a structure and that was a vision, now we have filled in the positions with David and Rob having started.
“Definitely what we can see in the first two weeks is that they come with quite a lot of knowledge, which is no surprise, they’ve been part of great teams, great projects. This knowledge, the good thing, I think we see this integrates with our knowhow. So it’s not like ‘ah we should do things in this way’, which is the opposite to what we’re doing, it’s we can do things in this way, which adds to what we do, which is refreshing.
“We have also had the possibility to appreciate their personal approach, which I think has engaged people in fascinating technical conversations. We see the momentum, the energy, the ideas, which flow through the organization.”
And Stella says the arrival of Sanchez and Marshall also increases McLaren’s capabilities to tackle the current set of regulations and be ready for the next era of car in 2026.
“Practically, we need to think right now – not only at McLaren – we have a 2024 car, then we are already setting the basis for how do we evolve the ’24 onto the ’25 [car], and then there’s a 26 project with completely new technical regulations.
“So there’s so much work that we need to go through that is very important to have these high calibers leading their respective technical areas because this means we have the capacity, the capability, the competence, to approach these three big projects with the horsepower to compete at the top of Formula 1.”