Brown promises McLaren continuity under Stella

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McLaren CEO Zak Brown says that the appointment of Andrea Stella as the new team principal of the F1 teams means that there will be no break in the the team's programme to return to the top of the sport.

Stella will replace Andreas Seidl in the role, who this week was announced as the new CEO of Sauber Motorsport ahead of its partnership with Audi that commences in 2026.

For Brown. Stella was an obvious choice rather than headhunting candidates from outside the organisation, which could have caused disruption to the team's development.

“The response I’ve had from the racing team about Andrea’s appointment has been predictably very well received," Brown said this week. "“Andrea was always our number one choice to lead the team moving forward.

"This feels like we won’t miss a beat versus introducing someone from the outside, because it takes quite a while to get up to speed."

Stella has been McLaren's executive director of racing since 2019, having joined the team in 2015 and served as as head of race operations and then performance director.

The 51-year-old Italian engineer got his F1 break with Ferrari, and was Michael Schumacher's race engineer from 2002 until 2006. He was Kimi Raikkonen's race engineer in 2009 and filled the same role for Fernando Alonso from 2010 until 2014.

“Andrea obviously has a wealth of experience, not only with McLaren but a rich history with Ferrari, so is someone who knew the team inside-out," he continued.

“He is a very hands-on person in the racing team, which was of high interest to me and the shareholders. We wanted to have someone leading the team who would get their hands dirty, so to speak.

“If we didn’t have Andrea that maybe [recruiting from outside] would have been an alternative to look at," he acknowledged. "But it was very clear to us very quickly that Andrea was who we wanted to have run the team.

“That all came together quite rapidly, and here we are with Andrea now as our team principal, which myself, our drivers [and] our team is extremely excited about.

"I think as we try and build a team to get back to competing for the world championships it has to be a team effort".

Stella will formally take up the role in January, when Seidl departs for Sauber to replace Ferrari-bound Frédéric Vasseur as Mattia Binotto steps down.

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