The McLaren team, based in Woking, created waves at the British Grand Prix when a significant upgrade package allowed Lando Norris to become the primary competitor for Max Verstappen’s race win. The McLaren pilot ended up second, with team-mate Oscar Piastri finishing fourth.
This shining performance followed a lackluster start to the 2023 season for McLaren, who admitted before the season’s commencement that its launch-spec car didn’t meet their speed expectations.
However, a technical overhaul within the team and a robust plan to revitalize the MCL60 have propelled Norris and Piastri from trailing positions to the front line.
Stella, who took over as team principal in the winter following Andreas Seidl’s exit, has played a key role in McLaren’s resurgence. Yet, he modestly downplays his personal involvement.
Rather than claiming an excessive share of the credit, he believes it’s crucial to appreciate others who have contributed to the turnaround.
“My primary focus is simply doing what’s right,” he commented. “Concentrate on performance, devise a vision for the team, ensure everyone comprehends what the vision and direction are.
“It’s critical to realize that you don’t accomplish these things in isolation. I’ve had incredible support, and my partnership with Zak [Brown, CEO] has been highly collaborative and strategic.
“It would be incorrect to use terms like ‘I’ or ‘you.’ It’s a collective effort, even in leadership. An F1 team is too intricate to believe that one person alone can instigate a turnaround and identify the individuals who should be part of this journey.”
Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60
Photo by: Erik Junius
Stella attributes the decisions he made, including a new technical structure that left no room for former technical director James Key, to implementing systems better suited to McLaren’s needs.
“We aspired to build a different model, from a technical perspective, that divided the aerodynamic, car concept, performance, and the engineering and design functions into three separate sectors,” he elaborated. “This is just an alternative method of operation.
“It’s not about any particular individual, but more about a decentralized model in terms of technical organization. That was the logic behind it.
“When it comes to leadership contributing to the transformation, I would like to commend everyone who has worked with me – Piers Thynne, the chief operating officer, and Daniel Gallo, chief people officer – and of course, all under the strategic guidance from Zak. Thus, it’s a team effort.”
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Despite Stella’s humility, Brown is unequivocal about the substantial contribution the Italian has provided to McLaren.
“This guy is fantastic,” Brown professed to Sky. “The way he took over our situation at the year’s beginning, recognized our challenges, implemented a technical revamp and promoted from within.
“While we’ve secured some significant new hires who are joining, they haven’t arrived yet, so this is still the result of the hard work of all the men and women under Andrea’s leadership.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about McLaren’s F1 Turnaround
Who is the team principal of McLaren’s F1 Team?
Andrea Stella is the team principal of McLaren’s F1 Team. He took over this role in the winter following the departure of Andreas Seidl.
Who were the main drivers for McLaren in the British Grand Prix?
The main drivers for McLaren in the British Grand Prix were Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri.
How did McLaren perform at the British Grand Prix?
McLaren performed impressively at the British Grand Prix. A significant upgrade package helped Lando Norris emerge as the primary competitor for Max Verstappen’s race win, with Norris finishing second and team-mate Oscar Piastri finishing fourth.
What was the strategy Stella implemented for McLaren’s turnaround?
Stella initiated a technical restructure within the team and formulated a robust plan to revitalize the MCL60. He also introduced a new technical structure that divided the aerodynamic, car concept, performance, and the engineering and design functions into three different sectors.
Who else contributed to McLaren’s F1 turnaround apart from Stella?
Apart from Stella, the Chief Operating Officer Piers Thynne, Chief People Officer Daniel Gallo, and CEO Zak Brown were instrumental in McLaren’s F1 turnaround.