Ferrari F1 designer quits after Bahrain GP, set to defect to British team

David Sanchez was responsible for the aerodynamic concept of Ferrari's 2022 and 2023 cars.

It has been reported by multiple media outlets in Italy that Ferrari’s head of vehicle concept David Sanchez has resigned, due to having been approached by a team based in the United Kingdom.

According to, that British side is McLaren, who are under the impression that Sanchez will join the Woking-based team once he completes a period of gardening leave.

Sanchez is reported to have resigned with immediate effect, hence why he’s entered a period of gardening leave as standard at Ferrari.

If true, losing Sanchez is a massive loss for Ferrari, with the Frenchman being an integral part of the team’s aerodynamic department, which he’s been promoted within since joining the Maranello-based team in 2012.

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Sanchez’s most recent role at Ferrari involved him overseeing the aerodynamic concept of the team’s 2022 and 2023 cars, meaning they’ll likely have to either promote someone from within the aerodynamic department to replace him, or sign somebody from outside Maranello.

According to Italia, it’s expected that they’ll promote somebody from within the team to cover Sanchez in the short-term, given that signing somebody from another team would likely be a lengthy process, due to the likelihood that the hired individual will also have to enter a period of gardening leave.

Interestingly, Sanchez worked at McLaren for five years before joining Ferrari, meaning he already has experience of working for the British outfit.

McLaren are currently a team in a spot of bother, after enduring a messy start to the season in Bahrain.

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Oscar Piastri retired on his debut at the Bahrain International Circuit following a technical fault, whilst Lando Norris was forced to pit six times due to a different issue with his MCL60.

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They do at least have a new wind tunnel nearing completion, something which might have enticed Sanchez to return to Woking.

Ferrari too endured a tough start to 2023, after Charles Leclerc retired from third place following a power unit failure, something the team were certain they’d avoid this season.

Carlos Sainz was able to finish fourth but was unable to keep Fernando Alonso behind, with the Aston Martin driver having snatched P3 from Sainz with ease.