McLaren's restructuring in recent weeks has been done as part of the team's innovative vision for the future, according to team principal Andrea Stella.
Stella was promoted from within the McLaren ranks after former boss Andreas Seidl left to become the Alfa Romeo CEO at the start of the season. Since then, the Woking-based outfit has had further shuffles in their hierarchy.
Former technical director James Key left the team after a gradual decline in results. His departure was accompanied by the announcement that former Ferrari engineer David Sanchez would be joining the team in the capacity of technical director of car concept and performance. He will be working in tandem with Peter Prodromou as the technical director for aerodynamics and Neil Houldey as the technical director for engineering and design. All three will report directly to Stella going forward.
In a recent interview with motorsport.com's Italian outlet, Stella was asked about the team's commitment to this new structure. He said:
"From a commitment standpoint you are totally absorbed, it's not a two-hour-a-day commitment. These have been very busy days, but that's only right when you are the team principal of a Formula 1 team, if you accept these professional challenges you know it will involve a certain lifestyle, but personally I consider myself lucky to be doing this job, I enjoy it and I have fun."
"Regarding the restructuring, it should be seen as part of the team's innovative vision that will touch all aspects of the structure, the goal is for all opportunities to be capitalized on, it is a first step and we will continue to work on that."
McLaren started the 2023 season slowly before finally picking up their first points of the year at the Australian GP. However, it is too early to ascertain if the technical restructuring is paying off the way they would want it to.
McLaren boss Andrea Stella unfazed by lack of practice time at 2023 F1 Azerbaijan GP
McLaren team principal Andrea Stella also admitted that he isn't overly bothered by the lack of practice time available in the next round of the 2023 season in Azerbaijan.
As Baku will be the first of six venues to host a Sprint race this season, there will only be one proper practice session for teams to try and gather data before setting up their cars for qualifying on Friday. While there will be another practice session prior to the Sprint race, very few changes will be allowed considering the cars will be in parc-ferme regulations.
Stella does not feel this is too much of a disadvantage for the teams, considering the modern technology at their disposal. In the aforementioned interview with motorsport.com in Italy, the 52-year-old said:
"In modern Formula 1 you come to the track more prepared than 20 years ago because the simulation tools are better, the aerodynamic mappings are more accurate, and so you know where to put the car on the 'setup' front, so there is less need to turn to get the car right. Then, of course, the more laps you run, the more chances there are to finalize the setup, and the same thing goes for the drivers; the more they run, the more they can fine-tune their driving with the characteristics of the circuit."
The McLaren boss added:
"But in general, I like the idea of leaving some imponderability with less free practice. I personally like racing, I like competition, we need a balance between practice, qualifying and racing, but it's a direction I'm in favour of."
McLaren still have just under three weeks to prepare for the race weekend in Azerbaijan, but it may not be an easy outing for the team from Woking, especially since the venue favors cars that have high straightline speed.