New McLaren boss Andrea Stella explains his planned ‘hands-on’ approach

Henry Valantine
McLaren racing director Andrea Stella. Mogyorod, Hungary, July 2022.

McLaren's Andrea Stella at the pit wall. Mogyorod, Hungary, July 2022.

Andrea Stella believes his experience in Formula 1 will help him as the new McLaren team principal, and he said he will take a ‘hands-on’ approach to the role.

Stella is set to replace Andreas Seidl as team boss, with the German taking up a role as Sauber chief executive in the new year.

Stella was immediately promoted from within by Zak Brown at McLaren to take on the team principal role, having previously been the team’s racing director and a race engineer before that.

Despite his long association with Formula 1, it will be the first time he has taken on a role with such seniority attached. But with that, he thinks his experience will be able to help him play a part in being able to run the team actively on a day-to-day basis.

“I think my style will be hands-on in principle,” Stella explained to media including after his appointment.

“I think the opportunity we have is that I’ve been dealing with and exposed to the engineering and racing elements of Formula 1 throughout my career, and I will be close to the core objectives of the team which, ultimately, is build a quick car and race this car effectively while on track.

“And if I may say, I think there’s really strong elements of integration and combination between my characteristics and Zak’s, so I think this creates a very strong combination.”

McLaren CEO Brown avoided the team boss merry-go-round which followed other teams around the grid earlier in the month by opting to promote Stella, with Fred Vasseur having left Alfa Romeo to join Ferrari and Jost Capito having also departed Williams within only a day.

Stella is not only a continuity candidate at McLaren, but the chief executive thinks it speaks to the people he has available at his disposal that he was confident in making such an appointment.

“It’s a big team with a tremendous amount of talent,” Brown explained.

“So I think any team, or business for that matter, it’s about the collection of individuals and the ways of working.

“So Andreas did a great job, but I have no doubt Andrea will pick up and carry us forward.

“I’m very happy with the racing team. I think we need to add some resources in certain areas, but I think we’ve got a strong racing team and that’s what you want is when opportunities present themselves, the fact that you’re able to go into the organisation, I think, talks to the depth of the racing team.”

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