New McLaren team principal Andrea Stella believes an expanded aerodynamic team can help close the gap to the frontrunners as he identifies areas he wants to address.
Stella has been promoted in place of Andreas Seidl who heads to Sauber as CEO, with Zak Brown keen to ensure continuity within the leadership team. That’s in part due to ongoing projects that Stella also sees as crucial to McLaren’s development but he also sees an aerodynamic department that could benefit from further growth.
“In terms of areas of opportunities, I think where we definitely would like to make a step forward is delivering a quick car,” Stella said. “Some of the reasons why we haven’t been able to do that so far, we know they are quite structural, and there’s really good actions and investments going on at McLaren, so we can overcome this limitations.
“You all may know we have important infrastructure coming in 2023 like the wind tunnel, the new simulator, so completing this business is certainly one of my priorities.
“At the same time we want to make some areas of the team stronger, we know it is fundamentally an aerodynamic game, so one of the areas we want to get stronger is on the aerodynamic side. I think we have incredible talent there, possibly we need to expand manpower in that area, and that’s one of the projects that is ongoing, and behind which I will certainly grant continuity.”
With Brown likely to continue taking on a number of the public-facing duties surrounding the Formula 1 team, Stella says he wants to remain as directly involved as possible with the rest of the operation.
“I think my style will be a hands-on kind of team principal. The opportunities we have is that I’ve been dealing with and exposed to the engineering and racing elements of Formula 1 throughout my career, and I will be close to the core objectives of the team which is ultimately build a quick car and race this car effectively while on track.
“If I may say, I think there’s really strong elements of integration and combination of my characteristics and Zak’s, so I think it’s a really strong combination.”