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McLaren turnaround built on 'fundamental enabler' - Stella

McLaren surged up the order after the changes were announced in March with big upgrades delivering the expected performance.

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McLaren boss Andrea Stella believes McLaren's major technical restructuring in 2023 was a "fundamental enabler" of its turnaround in Formula 1 fortunes.

After a slow start with the MCL60, it was announced in March that technical director James Key was to leave the team, with a new structure of three technical directors taking his place.

Peter Prodromou was already at the team, with the team announcing the signings of David Sanchez and Rob Marshall from Ferrari and Red Bull, respectively to lead the other departments.

This trio report to Team Principal Stella, who in turn reports to McLaren CEO Zak Brown.

After the restructure was announced, McLaren turned its season around, with two big upgrade packages in Austria/Britain and Singapore propelling the car to second fastest behind Red Bull.

However, due to its slow start, the team was unable to challenge Mercedes or Ferrari for second in the standings, but ended 2023 on a strong footing in fourth.

Off-track, the heavily-upgraded wind-tunnel at the McLaren Technology Centre is operational, with a new driver simulator also coming on line - but Stella puts the turnaround in on-track performance to the technical reshuffle.

"The technical restructuring was a fundamental enabler, I would say," Stella told media including RacingNews365.

"The restructure itself, if you think that it includes people who haven't actually started yet, as in in the new technical configuration, which includes three technical directors, two of them haven't started yet.

"We have Peter Prodromou in charge of aero, David Sanchez in charge of performance and concept and Rob Marshall in charge of engineering and design.

"Effectively, this structure has given clarity on the responsibilities and has allowed us, which was essential in the short term, to restructure the aerodynamic department, putting Peter Prodromou in charge, assisted by Giuseppe Pesce and these guys have been absolutely instrumental in setting the new direction for the design of the car from an aerodynamic point of view.

"This has been the enabler to unleash the talent that was already available at McLaren by giving a clear direction, making clear objectives and trying to make sure that empowerment and enthusiasm is the foundation of how he deal with people.

"This has been instrumental and I've always reiterated the same concepts when it comes to how the turnaround has been possible, and we are trying to get into the future, and in addition to that, we have Rob Marshall and David Sanchez starting in January."

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