McLaren Racing announced on Thursday that James Key, their Formula One team executive technical director, has left the Woking-based outfit. The team will have an executive Technical team with Peter Prodromou, who moves into the Technical Director of Aerodynamics role. Peter will lead the whole aero function, using his experience gained in 32 years of Formula 1 and a strong track record of winning world championships.
David Sanchez returns to Woking after a decade with Ferrari and will work in the position of technical director of car concept and performance and speaking about his new position within the team, he said:
“I’m excited to be returning to the team in Woking and look forward to working alongside Peter and Neil and the rest of the team to achieve our performance objectives. McLaren has always had an extremely talented group of people and alongside the new infrastructure upgrades coming online this year, we have an exciting prospect ahead that I’m delighted to be a part of.”
Sanchez will take up his new position with McLaren on January 1, 2024.
Neil Houldey is promoted into the newly created role of Technical Director, Engineering and Design. Having first joined the team in 2006, Neil has grown within the organisation, becoming a highly respected technical leader.
Giuseppe Pesce is promoted to Director, Aerodynamics & Chief of Staff, to support the running of the aero department reporting into Peter.
Alongside these changes, Piers Thynne moves into the expanded role of Chief Operating Officer for the Formula 1 team. This new role will support the Team Principal in the mission of innovating and elevating the standards at McLaren, to be strongly positioned to be competing at the front of the grid.
Andrea Stella, Team Principal, McLaren Formula 1 Team, commented:
“Firstly, I’d like to thank James for his hard work and commitment during his time at McLaren and wish him well for the future.
“Looking ahead, I am determined and fully focused on leading McLaren back to the front of the field. Since taking on the Team Principal role I have been given the mandate to take a strategic approach to ensure the team is set on a long-term foundation, for us to build on over the years.
“This new structure provides clarity and effectiveness within the team’s technical department and puts us in a strong position to maximise performance, including optimising the new infrastructure upgrades we have coming in 2023.
“Alongside Peter and Neil, I’m delighted to welcome David Sanchez back to the team to complete an experienced and highly specialised Technical Executive team, with the collective aim of delivering greater on-track car performance.
“I’m looking forward to continuing working together with Piers, who will play a fundamental role to define and deliver the plans to create an innovative and effective F1 team.”
Zak Brown, CEO, McLaren Racing, said:
“It’s important now that we ensure we have a solid foundation as the next phase of our journey. It has been clear to me for some time that our technical development has not moved at a quick enough pace to match our ambition of returning to the front of the grid. I’m pleased that, having completed a full review with Andrea, we are now able to implement the restructure required to set the wheels in motion to turn this around. These strategic changes ensure the long-term success of the team and are necessary to see McLaren get back to winning ways. We have everything coming into place now with our people and infrastructure and alongside an exciting driver line-up, I’m determined to see McLaren get back to where we should be.”