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McLaren reshuffle management.

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Swami, Jul 4, 2018.

  1. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Warrior

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    Eric Boullier out as McLaren reshuffle leadership
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    By Andrew Benson

    [​IMG]
    Eric Boullier said it was the "right" time to step down as racing director
    McLaren racing director Eric Boullier has left the team, saying it is "the right time to step down" amid a wider restructure of their leadership.

    McLaren have had a disappointing start to 2018, struggling to qualify in the top 10 having started the season with ambitions of competing with Red Bull.

    Former Indycar champion Gil De Ferran has been appointed sporting director.


    Andrea Stella has been appointed performance director, responsible for trackside operations.

    McLaren chief executive Zak Brown said Stella - the former Ferrari engineer who joined in 2015 alongside Fernando Alonso - would be "ultimately responsible for the performance of the car" and would lead the team at the track.

    Brown added that he had consulted closely with lead driver Alonso, who had been "a part of the process", and that the two new appointees will work closely to "maximise the performance of the team".

    'Change to improve systemic issues'
    De Ferran, 50, began a role as a roving adviser at the Spanish Grand Prix in early May. The Brazilian also acted as Alonso's driver coach during the Spaniard's attempt at the Indianapolis 500 last year.

    Previously, he was sporting director for the Honda F1 team, which has since become world champions Mercedes, for two years from 2005.

    Brown said that the performance of the car this season "has not met the expectations of anyone at McLaren, especially our loyal fans".

    He added: "The causes are systemic and structural, which require major change from within. With today's announcement, we start to address those issues head on and take the first step on our road to recovery."

    Boullier had been responsible for setting up the technical structure, which had begun to be questioned by McLaren senior management.

    The 44-year-old said last season that their chassis was among the best in F1 and that they were being held back by the Honda engine.

    McLaren decided to split with Honda, which was their works partner and provided free engines, sponsorship and other payments, at the end of last season and instead become a Renault customer team despite the moving costing in the region of $100m net per year.

    However, the car has been close to two seconds a lap off the pace this season, with McLaren fifth in the championship and Alonso eighth in the drivers' championship.

    Brown said McLaren had found themselves in "a completely unacceptable situation".

    He added: "We have big performance issues. We are punching well below our weight given our history, and the resources, people and technology at our disposal.

    "Ultimately Eric felt in order for McLaren to go forward in the best possible light, his resignation would allow that to happen.

    "The situation was not created overnight and it will not be solved overnight but this is a great starting point."

    A McLaren statement added that the changes were "the beginning of a comprehensive programme of positive changes to the technical leadership".

    Meanwhile, Red Bull have announced that they are to stop using Renault engines at the end of this season and switch to Honda for 2019.

    Swami
     
  2. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Warrior

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    McLaren: James Key to join as technical director from Toro Rosso
    [​IMG]
    By Andrew Benson & Jennie Gow

    [​IMG]
    James Key spent six years as Toro Rosso's technical director
    James Key is to join McLaren as technical director in the latest move of a reorganisation aimed at returning the team to competitiveness.

    The 46-year old is leaving the same position at Toro Rosso, and will move to McLaren once a period of 'gardening leave' has ended.

    It is not clear at this stage when Key will start his new role.


    In a separate development, Matt Morris has resigned as engineering director at McLaren.

    Morris was one element of the three-man technical leadership team set up by former racing director Eric Boullier which has been disbanded as a result of the team's poor performance this season.

    Chief technical officer Tim Goss left his role in April. Morris has now followed him out of the team. Only head of aerodynamics Peter Prodromou remains in his position, and is expected to stay on.

    Boullier left McLaren this month and his position was made defunct and replaced by a new structure.

    Andrea Stella, who joined McLaren for 2015 from Ferrari along with two-time world champion Fernando Alonso, was named performance director and former Indycar champion Gil de Ferran sporting director.

    Why a new technical director?
    Key's appointment is expected to be confirmed by McLaren - who have declined to comment - in the coming days.

    The establishment of a technical director, a role that has not existed at McLaren for some years, is a further acknowledgement by the team that their previous structure was not working.

    McLaren split with engine partner Honda at the end of last year and switched to paying for engines from Renault this year.

    The move came at a net cost of close to $100m but McLaren said it would be worth it because they felt the Honda engine was holding them back.

    They believed they had one of the best chassis in F1 last year and said their ambition was to compete with Red Bull, who also use Renault engines, for regular podium positions this year.

    Instead, McLaren have found themselves consistently more than a second a lap slower than Red Bull, and the slowest of the three teams using Renault engines.

    Meanwhile, Toro Rosso, who switched from Renault to Honda, have remained in a similar competitive position this year to 2017, and Red Bull will drop Renault and switch to Honda in 2019, believing the Japanese company is a better long-term bet.

    When will Key join McLaren?
    Key has resigned from his position at Toro Rosso but his start date in his new job is likely to be the subject of negotiation between Red Bull and McLaren.

    All leading technical figures have to spend time away from the sport when moving from one team to another but the longest this period tends to be is a year.

    That time could be reduced if the two parties can come to an arrangement - for example with other matters involved as a quid pro quo.

    McLaren last month rejected an approach from Red Bull motorsport director Helmut Marko for reserve driver Lando Norris. Marko wanted the 18-year-old, who is racing in Formula Two this year, as a replacement for Brendon Hartley at Toro Rosso for the rest of this season.

    Norris could become involved in negotiations over Key, as could Alonso's team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne, whose future at McLaren beyond this year is in doubt.

    Key, who has worked for Jordan, its successor Force India and Sauber, is regarded as one of the leading members of a new generation of F1 technical leaders.

    He was close to joining Williams a year ago but extended his contract with Red Bull to stay at Toro Rosso.

    Swami
     

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