Revealed: Real reason behind shock McLaren departure with swift F1 return teased

Henry Valantine
Former McLaren technical director of car concept and performance David Sanchez.

McLaren announced the departure of David Sanchez after just three months with the team.

McLaren team principal Andrea Stella has said the short-lived stint of David Sanchez at the top of the technical team came down, in part, to the fact he was “almost too senior” for his position.

Sanchez officially joined McLaren at the beginning of January as one of their new three-pronged technical director team after leaving Ferrari last year, but left after three months, citing that the role he had envisioned was “not aligned with the reality of the position.”

McLaren boss expands on reasons behind David Sanchez departure

McLaren’s press release announcing his departure explained the amicable nature of him leaving the team, which came as a surprise after such a short period of time.

But in the period of gardening leave Sanchez had to take after leaving Ferrari, team boss Stella explained the significant changes happening behind the scenes at McLaren were being relayed to him.

When their positions did not align while he was in his eventual role of one of their three technical directors, with a focus on car concept and performance, Sanchez departed.

Having been rumoured with a possible move to Alpine as they look to bolster their technical team, Stella explained he would not be surprised to see the former Ferrari and Renault man end up back on the grid in a senior position soon, while giving more detail as to why he left in the first place.

“I think we should look at Formula 1 teams like dynamic entities, and this is true for organisations as well. You constantly look at the organisation to try and improve efficiency, effectiveness,” Stella explained to when asked about the situation surrounding the departure of Sanchez.

“So since we talked and then we employed David, which we go back to February 2023. In the meantime, many things have happened at McLaren. recommends

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“There’s been a complete reorganisation of the technical department, an historical turnaround, and we have established some workflows, a new structure itself.

“So when David started, we started to look at his position in this organisation, we had very good conversations, very open always, like I said before, trying to think what is the interest of McLaren? What is the interest of David?

“He is a very senior person, very senior figure in Formula 1, and we kind of realised that to some extent, he was almost too senior for the position that he was having.

“And we thought that we should consider an opportunity even for his own career, to pursue his ambitions at a different team.

“We came to this conclusion in an amicable and friendly way, and we do hope David is going to find a senior role in the very near future, and I strongly believe that that will be the case.”

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