McLaren recruits Marshall and Sanchez begin work at Woking

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McLaren’s new technical executive team is now up and running at Woking, with Rob Marshall and David Sanchez taking up their positions with team papaya this week.

Both men were on gardening leave, respectively from Red Bull and Ferrari, but have joined their colleague Peter Prodromou to form the new three-way management structure of McLaren's technical department.

Marshall will head engineering and design while Sanchez will manage car concept and performance, with Prodromou overseeing the team’s aerodynamic department.

All three technical directors will report to McLaren F1 boss Andrea Stella.

As a former key lieutenant to Red Bull chief technology officer Adrian Newey, Marshall has been instrumental in the Milton Keynes-based outfit’s success for well over a decade, and team boss Christian Horner views his former engineer’s transfer as a loss for the bulls and a significant gain for McLaren.

“McLaren had a great second half of the year,” Horner told Sky Sports F1.

“There were times they were very, very competitive – our closest competitor at times during the second half of the season – and they’ve strengthened their team. Rob will for sure be an asset.

“But with Lando and Oscar, who was really impressive as a debutant this year, I think they could well be a factor next year.

Christian Horner with former Red Bull engineering chief Rob Marshall who begins work at McLaren this week.

“With stable regs, inevitably we’re going to get into diminishing returns because we’re probably close to the top of the curve in development that others haven’t been, so that will converge.

“We’re fully expecting, whether it’s McLaren or Ferrari or Mercedes or even Aston Martin, [they] could well be contenders next year.”

Save for Prodromu, McLaren’s leading trio of engineers will not have had any collaborative involvement in the design of the car’s 2024 car.

McLaren boss Zak Brown reckons his team will need another season to maximise both its human and infrastructure capabilities.

"We have everything we need, but we need a little bit more time," Brown said last November in Abu Dhabi.

"The upgrades were not done with some of our latest technology, and we're now in our wind-tunnel, we have our new simulator, our new manufacturing unit so that is quite exciting for us because we haven't benefited from those.

Former Ferrari chief engineer David Sanchez will manage car concept and performance at McLaren.

"We will have everything in place come January but 2024 has already started, so I think it will be 2025 before we've fully maximised everything, but I feel good about the '24 season.

"It’s been an awesome effort by Andrea and the entire team. The upgrades have been fantastic. The drivers are doing a great job, we’ve got great power coming out of our Mercedes power unit, so it’s been a wild ride."

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