Aston Martin confirm key departure as McLaren continue aggressive recruitment plan

Sam Cooper
The McLaren Racing logo. Barcelona, February 2022.

McLaren F1 Team signage.

McLaren have continued their recruitment drive by reportedly acquiring the services of Aston Martin aerodynamicist Mariano Alperin.

McLaren announced a shake-up of their technical department last week with James Key leaving his role as executive technical director and being replaced by the three-man team of Peter Prodromou, David Sanchez, and Neil Houldey.

The Woking outfit have now seemingly added further to that team with Motorsport.com reporting that Alperin will join the team as well.

Alperin has worked at Aston since April 2019 and before that he was head of aerodynamic development at Sauber for 11 years.

Motorsport.com also reports that McLaren will seek to add 15 members of staff with some able to move straight across while others will need to serve gardening leave.

Aston Martin have since confirmed to PlanetF1.com that Alperin will soon depart the team, while McLaren have also been approached for comment.

Speaking following last week’s changes, McLaren CEO Zak Brown said their technical department needed updating to match the modern needs of Formula 1.

“It’s important now that we ensure we have a solid foundation as the next phase of our journey,” he said.

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“It has been clear to me for some time that our technical development has not moved at a quick enough pace to match our ambition of returning to the front of the grid. I’m pleased that, having completed a full review with Andrea, we are now able to implement the restructure required to set the wheels in motion to turn this around.

“These strategic changes ensure the long-term success of the team and are necessary to see McLaren get back to winning ways. We have everything coming into place now with our people and infrastructure and alongside an exciting driver line-up, I’m determined to see McLaren get back to where we should be.”

Aston Martin is not the only team McLaren has recruited from with Sanchez having spent a decade at Ferrari before becoming head of aerodynamics in 2019 and then chief engineer for vehicle concept in 2021.

Sanchez previously worked at McLaren from 2007 to 2012 but will have to wait until 2024 to rejoin the Woking team as he must serve out the duration of his existing contract with Ferrari.

Motorsport.com are also reporting that McLaren are also approaching members of the Mercedes and Red Bull team in their quest to return to the front of the grid.