Zak Brown expands on the changes made within the McLaren structure after the departure of Andreas Seidl and promotion of Andrea Stella.
The move from Seidl came as a surprise to many when he was announced to leave McLaren to join Alfa Romeo Sauber. Eventually, it was cleared that the German was destined to move out considering the involvement of Audi with the Swiss F1 team.
At the same time, McLaren took the time to re-structure its various departments under Stella, who took over as the new team principal. They now have a group of people looking at various departments rather than one key figure like James Key was.
The changes comes at a time when McLaren are stuck in a phase with no improvements, largely due to infrastructure lack. While they don’t want to use it as an excuse but Brown noted that the pace of development they had was too slow to the team’s liking.
After Aston Martin made the jump in 2023, it certainly put a dent in the morale of the Woking-based team. With the latest re-structure, Brown is hoping to get the team back in a good position. “I didn’t like our pace of development, if you like, towards the second half of last year,” he said when asked about the changes.
“I didn’t feel like we were moving forward. You look at Aston Martin, they’ve done a fantastic job, started at the beginning of the year, not where they finished at the end of the year and clearly they’ve just continued on in that development path. And I felt like we were not developing at the pace that we need to, so when we had our team principal change, I asked Andrea to take a look at why and he restructured the department.
“And that was a work in progress over the winter. We knew, as we said at the launch, that we weren’t where we’d want to be at the start of the year. I’ve got all the confidence in Andrea, the structure, the people we have, the people that we have coming, that will now be able to continue forward on our journey.
“I think, as I say, in the factory things start to feel good and then eventually they look good. And quite the opposite, right at the end of last year things didn’t feel good, and we were kind of seeing, at the start of this year, those results, if you like. So we’ve got some good upgrade packages coming, but so does every other team on the grid, but I would anticipate that will definitely finish the season much stronger than we’ve started,” summed up Brown.
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