McLaren F1 looking to create “the most effective organisation” on the technical side led to Sanchez exit — Stella

Photo Credit: McLaren Racing
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For the first time since the shock departure of David Sanchez from McLaren after just 3 months, Andrea Stella has spoken publicly about the decision for the Frenchman and the Woking-based squad to go their separate ways.

Sanchez confirmed he would be leaving Ferrari in March of 2023. After a period of gardening leave, he joined McLaren in January of this year, along with Rob Marshall who made the move from Red Bull Racing.

Marshall was confirmed as Technical Director for Engineering & Design, with Sanchez becoming Technical Director for Car Concept & Performance.

However, after a review between the parties, it was agreed that Sanchez will leave the team after 3 months together.

“Formula 1 is a dynamic environment, it evolves very rapidly,” Andrea Stella told Sky.

“We looked at how we can create the most efficient [and] the most effective organisation.

“We took a look, together with David, effectively at what was the best configuration and also what was his best interest.”

In his role at Scuderia Ferrari before his departure, Sanchez was Head of Vehicle Concept. He was given a lot of freedom in that role and had the complete trust of Mattia Binotto as he was a key figure in the design of the team’s 2022 and 2023 cars.

Following the appointment of Fred Vasseur as Team Principal in December 2022, Sanchez left 3 months later.

According to a very reliable source, Pit Debrief learned the French engineer expected more freedom and power in his role like he had at Ferrari, leading to his rapid departure from McLaren.

Stella very much hinted to Sky Sports F1 on Friday after FP1 that was the reason for it.

“I think compared to when we agreed [for him] to join [from] Ferrari, we had some change of context.

“We thought together that he needed to have some fair opportunities, potentially with a bigger role that I’m sure he deserves and he would fill with full qualities, potentially [at] some other teams.”

Rob Marshall was promoted into the Chief Designer role, with Neil Houldey moving into the position of Technical Director for Engineering. The Italian Team Principal is pleased with the technical department as McLaren continues to improve.

“So we looked at the most effective configuration and we saw that there was an important role for Rob Marshall [Chief Designer] and Neil Houldey [Technical Director, Engineering].

“So we are happy with how we are heading into the future from a technical point of view, and definitely we wish David all the best for his future endeavours.”