Norris “can’t ask for a better team principal” than current McLaren F1 boss Stella

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Photo Credit: McLaren Racing


As a young Italian engineer trying to mould a path into motorsport, the dream of getting into Formula 1 and wearing the scarlet red of Ferrari would be on the top of the list by many. Andrea Stella achieved this and worked his way up to the race engineer role for Kimi Räikkönen in 2009 and Fernando Alonso from 2010 to 2014. He also was part of Michael Schumacher’s incredible success as a performance engineer.


In 2015 Stella took the plunge to leave ‘the national team’ Ferrari and move to long rivals McLaren, following Fernando Alonso out of the Scuderia. He initially filled the role of Head of Race Operations and then as racing director in 2019.


Coming into the 2023 season, Stella was promoted to Team Principal as Andreas Seidl moved to the Alfa Romeo squad.

He has seen a huge upturn in form from his race team, and with highly aggressive and affective upgrade packages to the MCL60, the team were a force to be reckoned with and put champions Red Bull under pressure on occasion, with nine podium finishes on a Sunday and a sprint race win at the Qatar Grand Prix from Australian rookie Oscar Piastri.


Lando Norris was full of praise for the whole team, but he acknowledges that his Team Principal has been instrumental in co-ordinating the team’s turnaround and praised his great leadership qualities and excellent communication skills.


“Andrea is just the director of it all. He’s the producer of the set, and everyone else is the cast but you need everyone to work together very well. That’s what they’re doing. So, he’s done an amazing job. I’m very, very happy with having him where he is.” 


The Brit also spoke about how Stella is still involved fully and is not seen as the big boss in the office, but a team member who is there on the ground every day


“He still does a lot for the team every single weekend in terms of racing and qualifying and all of that. But I can’t ask for a better team principal.”

Photo Credit: McLaren Racing


Under Stella McLaren have been making big changes to facilities and team personal, the long awaited start for Rob Marshall will commence on the 1st of January 2024. Signing this high profile Red Bull engineer is a sign of intent by the team.

Next year’s car will be the first to have input from McLaren’s new state of the art wind tunnel.

For many years now McLaren have been using the Toyota facility in Cologne, Germany. From now having an on-site facility will be a huge bonus for the team. All these factors have made for an ‘excited’ Norris.


“I’m very excited, we have some new hirings and I’m excited because we’re finally on the right track and we know which direction to push,” concluded Norris.