Top four unlikely as McLaren shakes up F1 team

Top Ferrari engineer David Sanchez’s move to McLaren is now confirmed, as news breaks that the British team has ousted its technical boss James Key.

Woking based McLaren – dead last in the constructors’ championship so far this season – has had a dire start to its 2023 campaign.

In the wind tunnel, furious work is taking place to improve the disappointing car.

“It’s probably not going to be enough to join the top four teams,” said new team boss Andrea Stella, “as was our goal.

“We still need a few more upgrades that we are already working on. Aston Martin has shown us all that bigger laps are possible.”

McLaren is also hoping that a new technical chief in the form of Ferrari’s recently-departed Sanchez is a part of the forthcoming improvement.

From 2024, he will now form part of a three-headed technical structure alongside the existing Peter Prodromou and Neil Houldley.

“The team has taken the decision to move away from a single executive technical director role, overseeing the whole technical operation,” a team statement confirmed.

“I’d like to thank James for his hard work and commitment during his time at McLaren and wish him well for the future,” said Stella.

McLaren CEO Zak Brown added: “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.”

Stella, meanwhile, admits that the entire world of Formula 1 is now quite clearly chasing Red Bull.

“There are no excuses,” he said. “Many teams will certainly be using Red Bull as a technical inspiration. And the season is still long.

“There is still enough time to implement this new knowledge. That’s why I believe that Red Bull’s lead will shrink by the end of the year.”

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