McLaren has announced an extensive restructuring of its technical department, with former technical director James Key leaving the team as part of the changes.
McLaren's disappointing start to its 2023 campaign, with the Woking-based outfit's MCL60 significantly underperforming expectations and the team putting zero points on the board in the first two races of the season, has to some hard but necessary decisions by the outfit's top brass.
James Key, who joined McLaren in 2019 as executive director, has paid the price for team papaya's poor performance.
But the writing was perhaps on the wall for the British engineer when McLaren team boss Andrea Stella declared himself none too happy at the team's presentation last month with the MCL60's level of development ahead of the season.
Unfortunately, Bahrain, where neither Lando Norris nor Oscar Piastri qualified among the top ten and Jeddah, where only the latter reached Q3, offered clear confirmation of the MCL60's performance shortfall.
McLaren's new technical structure - its F1 Technical Executive Team as it is called - will see a three-pronged approach to design, development and performance.
Peter Prodromou moves into the role of Technical Director, Aerodynamics while David Sanchez, who recently departed Ferrari, will assume the role of Technical Director, Car Concept and Performance.
However, the Frenchman remains on gardening leave following his exit from the Scuderia and will only join McLaren on January1, 2024.
Neil Houldey is promoted into the newly created role of Technical Director, Engineering and Design.
All three members of McLaren's TET will report to team principal Andrea Stella.
Giuseppe Pesce is promoted to Director, Aerodynamics & Chief of Staff, to support the running of the aero department reporting into Prodromou, while
Piers Thynne moves into the expanded role of Chief Operating Officer for the Formula 1 team, a role supporting the Team Principal in the mission of "innovating and elevating the standards at McLaren, to be strongly positioned to be competing at the front of the grid".
McLaren says its reorganisation has been the work of a number of months and takes place ahead of several new key infrastructure projects, including a new wind tunnel, which are due to come online in phases throughout 2023.
McLaren says that it has been undertaking a sustained recruitment campaign to increase the technical capability, with some senior appointments already made.
"This strategic approach, based on organisational restructure, new infrastructure, and expansion of the workforce, creates the foundations for a stronger and more innovative Formula 1 team to enable future success," the team stated.