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James Key, Technical Director, Leaves McLaren After Earthquake, Three Engineers Take Over: F1 Magazine – F1online.sk

McLaren technical director James Key is leaving the Woking team after four years. With Brit’s departure, the position of technical director will completely disappear and the so-called a technical executive team that will consist of a trio of engineers – Peter Prodomou, David Sanchez and Neil Houldey.

We can only guess what is behind the departure of James Key, but McLaren seems to be reacting to the lackluster performance of the traditional team so far this season.

McLaren describes this move as a “restructuring”, on the basis of which the post of technical director will completely disappear and a kind of technical executive team will be created directly under Andre Stella.

The technical executive team will consist of Peter Prodromouwho will become technical director for aerodynamics, david sanchezawho returns to McLaren after a decade at Ferrari as Technical Director of Car Concept and Performance and Neil Houldeywho will join the team early next year in the newly created role of Technical Director of Engineering and Design.

There will also be changes in other posts – Joseph Fish will become Director of Aerodynamics and Director of Personnel, reporting to Peter Prodromou. Piers Thynne will take on the role of Chief Operating Officer, whose main role will be to help the team principal innovate and raise standards at McLaren and return this traditional team to the front of the grid.

McLaren says this reorganization was the result of several months of work and comes ahead of several key infrastructural projects due to see the light of day during 2023. The restructuring also includes an ongoing recruitment drive to help improve the team’s technical capability.

The head of McLaren, Andrea Stella, has already commented on the whole matter:

“First of all I would like to thank James for his hard work and commitment during his time at McLaren and wish him the best of luck for the future.”

“Looking to the future, I am fully committed and fully focused on bringing McLaren back to the front of the field. Since taking over as team boss, I have been given the mandate to take a strategic approach to ensure that the team is built on long-term foundations that we can build on over the years.”

“This new structure provides clarity and efficiency in the team’s technical department and puts us in a strong position to maximize performance, including optimizing and modernizing the new infrastructure we are bringing in 2023.”

“Along with Peter and Neil, I’m delighted to welcome David Sanchez back to the team, who will complement an experienced and highly specialized technical executive team whose common goal is to deliver better performance for the car on the track.”

“I look forward to continuing to work with Piers, who will play a vital role in defining and implementing plans to create an innovative and effective F1 team.”

McLaren CEO Zak Brown also commented on the “restructuring”:

“Now it is important that we make sure that we can build on a solid foundation in the next phase of our journey. It has been clear to me for some time that our technical development has not moved at a fast enough pace, and thus has not matched our ambitions to return to the front of the grid. I am pleased that after a full review of the situation with Andrea, we are now able to implement the restructuring necessary to set things in motion to turn it all around. These strategic changes ensure the team’s long-term success and are essential for McLaren to return to winning ways. We have everything right with our people and infrastructure, and with an exciting line-up of drivers, I am determined to see McLaren get back to where it should be.”

A statement was also made by David Sanchez:

“I am delighted to be returning to the Woking team and look forward to working with Peter, Neil and the rest of the team to achieve our performance targets. McLaren has always had an extremely talented group of people and with the new infrastructure upgrades that will see the light of day this year, we have an exciting prospect ahead of us that I am delighted to be a part of.”

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