New McLaren boss shares Ferrari lessons

Andrea Stella will be McLaren’s team principal in 2023, following Andreas Seidl’s move to Sauber.

Formula 1 bosses appear to be playing a bizarre game of musical chairs this week, as McLaren, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Williams have all seen a change in their top boss.

Andreas Seidl announced out of the blue that he has chosen to move to Sauber earlier this week, not to replace the Ferrari bound Fred Vasseur as team principal, but to become the team’s new CEO.

This news forced McLaren to hunt for a new team principal, however it did not take the team long as they chose to promote from within in an attempt to keep some continuity in the team ahead of their hunt to become podium challengers in 2023.

Andrea Stella was the man chosen to step up to the plate at the Woking based outfit, having served as head of race operations and racing director at McLaren since he joined the team in 2015.

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The Italian earned his stripes at Ferrari, working as a race engineer for the likes of Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso, while working under team principals such as Jean Todt and Stefano Domenicali.

Following his promotion at McLaren, Stella has revealed the lessons that he learned from working under such quality at Ferrari.

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“First of all Jean Todt, his incredible dedication to the team and to his role is something that gave me a bit of an imprint of what it means to be committed, overall kind of early imprinting of my career in F1, having a privilege to work in such a successful environment in the Ferrari of 2000’s,” he explained.

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“Stefano is definitely a people person, and Formula 1 is about engineering operations, but is ultimately very much about people.

“From Stefano I understood elements and qualities that you need to take, highly regarded as a team principal, and also his way of interacting with people based on respect, listening and just think managing your ego, somehow.”

McLaren CEO Zak Brown has claimed that everyone in the team could not be happier about the appointment of Stella as team principal, suggesting that the continuity of having someone familiar to the team take the reins means the team skips the inevitable adaptation period that comes with appointing someone from the outside.