Zak Brown opens up on McLaren’s ‘driver-related issues’

Former McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl moved to Sauber following the end of the 2022 F1 season.

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown has explained why huge changes were recently made to the team’s technical department, with new team principal Andrea Stella having been key to the plan working.

It was announced after McLaren’s point-less Saudi Arabian Grand Prix that an overhaul would be taking place among their technical department, with several high-profile names having been let go.

In their place, several key employees from rival teams were brought in, including, former head of vehicle concept at Ferrari David Sanchez.

Replacing former team principal Andreas Seidl with Stella was also key to Brown’s changes, with Stella having been given a mandate to complete a full review.

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“Obviously, we started the year with some challenges in testing with the brake ducts,” Brown said, as reported by

“The car was okay. And then of course, we had our driver-related issues that we were working through, which kind of took the attention if you’d like, and kind of the headline.

“Meanwhile, kind of underneath the surface, I wasn’t happy with the pace of the development of the racing car.

“That was the second half of last year, if you’re going to look at the pace of development of some of the other teams where they started and where they ended, versus where we started and where we ended.

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“So you start having conversations, and of course, we had a team principal change towards the end of the year, which allowed me the opportunity to be more aggressive in working with Andrea to give him the mandate of take a look at the team. And that’s exactly what he did.”

Given that Stella has worked for the Woking-based side since 2015, Brown viewed him as the ideal person to complete a review of the technical department, unlike a new team principal from another side who wouldn’t have known the team’s methods.

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“Obviously, him having been there meant he wasn’t starting from ground zero if you’d like,” said Brown.

“And ultimately we came up with a model that makes total sense to us, and those internally. And we went about starting to put those plans in place.

“And so when we made the announcement, that’s something that had been in the works for some time, and was co-incidental to our poor start to the season.”