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McLaren structure “completely different” from confusing 2015 F1 era

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A few years ago, McLaren adopted a three-man technical structure, with Tim Goss, Matt Morris and Peter Prodromo fighting side by side.

Goss and Morris later left the team and in 2019 James Key joined the team as technical director with overall responsibility for the car.

The latest structure stems from a review commissioned by chief executive Zac Brown and conducted over the recent winter break by Stella, who replaced Andreas Seidel as team chief.

As a result, Key left the team and a new structure was installed, with three technical directors working together, Prodromou (aerodynamics), ex-Ferrari man Davide Sanchez (car concept and performance) and Neil Houldey (engineering and design).

Stella insists the current arrangement is no match for earlier versions.

“I think the only common denominator in that group is the third,” he said.

“The rest is completely different. At the time, when I joined McLaren in 2015, there were only three technical directors. I think the division of competencies was very confusing.

“Even for insiders, it’s hard to understand who’s doing what. The first difference is that now we know exactly what the criteria for this separation are.

“In the structure we have deployed, we want to have clear leadership in the three fundamental areas of aerodynamics, car concept and engineering to build a fast car in modern F1.

McLaren MP4-30 Honda's Fernando Alonso pulls off track with engine problem

McLaren MP4-30 Honda’s Fernando Alonso pulls off track with engine problem

Photography: Steve Etherington/ motorsport pictures

“So we wanted to explicitly adopt this model as a way to answer the question that Zak and I have asked from day one: As team leaders, how do we create a performance-driven organization? It requires an approach from Modeling perspective of F1 teams.

“The first difference is that the technology structure at the time was very unclear about who was doing what.”

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According to Stella, the responsibilities are now clear and the model is different than in the past because everyone involved reports to a team leader with a strong technical background.

“Now we have a clear base model of the teams, and more specifically, the technical areas,” he said.

“Beyond that, at the time this tech group reported to a team lead who wasn’t a tech person. Now we have a tech team lead. But I don’t expect to be very busy in terms of managing our tech department.

“Because first of all, like I said, we have very strong leaders in every area. Ultimately, it’s important that we bring our performance philosophy to the table. That’s what we miss most at McLaren now.

“When making a decision, most of the time it’s a simple, natural derivation of coming to the table with detailed and high-quality information.”

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Alpine enjoys after: 'Monaco proves what we can achieve'

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In the end, Alpine had something to celebrate this season. In Monaco, the French team took an equally well-deserved podium. Esteban Ocon has shown that the Alps have pace after all, and in a year in which chief executive Laurent Rossi has ramped up the pressure considerably. The latter demand immediate results. In Monaco, that wish came true.

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Sainz hopes for clarity on his contract at Ferrari soon

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Carlos Sainz still has a year-and-a-half remaining on his Ferrari contract, but the Spaniard is curious to see what the Italian team plans to do with him after that. Sainz spoke about this in a conversation with Sky Sports. So while he previously said he wasn’t worried about all the rumors surrounding him personally, he wanted clarification soon.

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Ferrari introduces updates: 'We expect to make progress'

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Last week it was Charles Leclerc’s turn and next weekend it was Carlos Sainz’s. Soon, both Ferrari drivers will be competing in their home races. The race in his hometown of Monaco didn’t go his way for Leclerc, with Sainz clearly hoping to please his fans with the best results.

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