McLaren expect boost from imminent arrival of major technical staff hires

RaceFans Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: McLaren team principal Andrea Stella says Rob Marshall and David Sanchez will begin work with the team next month.

Join RaceFans on Facebook

Don't miss anything from RaceFans - join us on Facebook here to see whenever a new article has been added:

In brief

McLaren’s technical team to be boosted by new arrivals in January – Stella

McLaren’s technical development will receive a boost after two key arrivals join the team in the new year, according to team principal Andrea Stella.

The team enjoyed major development in their performance over the 2023 and had one of their most successful seasons of recent years. Stella credits this to the revamped technical department.

“The technical restructuring was a fundamental enabler, I would say,” Stella said. “The restructure itself, if you think, includes people that actually haven’t started yet.

“The enabler has been to use the talent that was already available at McLaren, because the people that physically on CAD design the geometries – they are the same people. But unleashing their talent by giving clear direction, making clear objectives, and also trying to make sure that empowerment and enthusiasm are the foundation of how we deal with people. This has been instrumental.

“That’s also how we are trying to get into the future. In addition to that, we’ll have now Rob Marshall and David Sanchez starting in January.”

Minardi hopeful for Ferrari after strong finish

Former F1 team principal Giancarlo Minardi says that Ferrari’s strong end to the 2023 season is a “positive” sign for the team heading into next year.

“Everyone expected a certain level, especially after a promising start,” Minardi told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “A level to which the red car arrived at only in the finale.

“On the technical side it has been up and down, with some worrying moments in the summer. But it is true that finishing on the rise is a positive sign for 2024. That, precisely because of the stability of the regulations, will be decisive.”

Canada Aston Martin’s ‘most competitive’ race

Aston Martin performance director Tom McCullough believes the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal was his team’s strongest of the season.

The Montreal round was one of eight podiums of the season for Fernando Alonso and Aston Martin, finishing nine seconds behind winner Max Verstappen. Asked what the perfect track for their 2023 car would be, McCullough said “I suppose our most competitive race was probably Canada – looking at this year, relative to the front.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Social media

Notable posts from X (formerly Twitter), TikTok and more:

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Comment of the day

With our look at who gained the most positions laps during the 2023 season, reader Facts&Stats reads into the data…

If you remove the abnormal low qualifying ones due penalties, track limits, or similar there is only a top three of most ‘impressive’ charges through the field: Zhou Guanyu, Oscar Piastri and Esteban Ocon.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Journeyer, Naz3012, Rick and Liam Stroud!

On this day in motorsport

  • Born today in 1942: Guy Edwards, who started 11 F1 races in the seventies and later became a sponsorship consultant for Lotus.


Don’t miss any of our RaceFans’ motorsport coverage! Get a daily update in your inbox – sign up for the free RaceFans email Newsletter here:

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

17 comments on “McLaren expect boost from imminent arrival of major technical staff hires”

  1. I don’t hold as much hope for Ferrari.
    If anything, Mercedes & Mclaren seem more/the most capable of challenging Red Bull in the short to medium term.

    1. It’s hard to choose between MB and Ferrari. Sure, MB has had the better results in the last stretch of the season but Ferrari can’t be counted out. They do have a fast car but making it perform consistently is still a constant struggle and it seems like the 24 car is going to be a pretty major overhaul so hopefully for their sake they don’t go with some strange concept like MB did at the start of the 23 season.

    2. I would tend to agree with you when it comes to Ferrari’s ability to genuinely challenge Red Bull… but what’s changed my mind has been their 2nd half of the 2023 season. They took 5 poles a race win (which could have been 2 race wins in Las Vegas). There were no Binotto-style ball dropping either towards the end of the season, and they genuinely looked like the 2nd best team at the end of the year.

      Considering that this was Fred’s first year at the helm.. I think its a little too soon to write Ferrari off. I think we need to see how they start next season to say whether they will be ahead of Mclaren and Mercedes in taking the fight to Red Bull. I still don’t think anyone can beat Max to a title before 2026, but at least if anyone puts up a half decent fight, it should be a win for the viewers.

  2. Gil de Ferran dead at 56. Such sad news and at such a young age. He was one of my favourites in the CART heyday.

  3. Ron Dennis finally got his knighthood in this year’s New Years Honours List. He was in line for one in the mid-2000s but the aftermath of Spygate took some of the sheen off his achievements. Given how the UK honours system has been debased in the years since, he’s probably one of the more palatable recent recipients.

    1. He was a hero to me and many others when he won two seasons with Hakkinen. A perfectionist, yes. On the obverse, he let Kimi down badly in 2005. And cheated to get that title with Lewis in 2007.

      Honours can be an embarrassment even when they are deserved, which is not the case here. I mean, I’m half expecting Button to be made a Lord or something daft, then people will want honours abolished for ever.

      1. Ron Dennis didn’t cheat, one nobody had documents at his home hoping he could look important by bringing their ideas in as his own, and that didn’t work. Nothing was found on the car and the first investigation let the team off entirely, then max Mosely the weirdo manipulated everything to show off and get Ron over some feud. The fact you mention Lewis

        1. The amount of revisionism that goes on about Spygate continues to amaze me, when it should be ancient history by now.

          The ‘nobody’ was McLaren’s chief designer, who employed a mole to steal Ferrari’s IP on demand. The first investigation found that McLaren had possession of Ferrari IP but no evidence it had been used. This conclusion was undermined by the discovery of emails between Alonso and de la Rosa discussing the use of Ferrari’s IP, which necessitated the second WMSC hearing and the eventual penalty. Whatever the personal animosity between Dennis and Max Mosley, McLaren were bang to rights.

          As for Hamilton, there was never any evidence that he had any knowledge of the espionage or made use of any stolen information, although he (along with every other otherwise-innocent McLaren employee) may have benefited indirectly from its use.

          1. And, while I have no idea if the IP theft made any difference, the Ferrari was a better car. It just had much weaker drivers. It also would also likely allow McLaren to understand where they would need to improve or make setups to neutralize the Ferrari’s strengths. Or maybe it made no difference. We just don’t know for sure.

          2. However, let me add, I think Ron Dennis did great things for F1 and was a brilliant operator. Also, wasn’t he the one who blew the whistle on his own team? Though I know it was because he thought he was getting ahead of Alonso? (which was silly as Alonso never actually threatened to do anything)

          3. As stated at the time for the fine from Mr Mosley, it was $1million for the transgression, and $99million more for Ron Dennis being a ****. So tell me again that it didn’t revolve around a personal issue! A large part of the severity of the issue was down to a personal grudge.

            Nothing was ever proven to have been used on the car that came from Ferrari’s data, from either of the investigations. Honestly I can’t think of another fine in any sport that was as far over the top as the one McLaren got from spygate. When you look at other fines/punishments in F1 for actual cheating it looks even more ridiculous! It was just an ex-Ferrari employee holding a grudge and making a professional misjudgement (albeit a pretty big one).

  4. If I ‘read into the data’ of the team bosses votes then it seems that nine bosses rated Verstappen first and one rated him third!

    We should have a vote here on who we think that was.

    1. I think it was Vasseur, with both his drivers in the top spots.

      I doubt Wolff would put Russell above Verstappen, but he could’ve chosen Hamilton and Alonso.

      1. I wouldn’t be surprised if Wolff is still so salty that he puts Lewis in 1st and Leclerc in 2nd.

      2. Vasseur has been open about what he thinks Verstappen and RBR have done this season. And although I do think Wolff is salty enough to do it, he wouldn’t. My guess is Brown

        1. Wolff said last week he still thinks Hamilton is the best driver in the world. Brown said Verstappen broke records likely never to be broken again.

          I think it’s Wolff. Like Cyril rated Max the best driver in 2018 over Lewis and said it publicly even though I disagree with that assessment.

Comments are closed.