Shock McLaren changes as key Ferrari acquisition exits after just three months

Jamie Woodhouse
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 has announced changes within their senior staff ranks which have come as a huge surprise, as the exit of David Sanchez, who only arrived in January, was confirmed.

McLaren restructured their technical team early in 2023 under the watch of new team principal Andrea Stella, as an eye was then cast towards 2024 and the exciting arrivals of former Red Bull stalwart Rob Marshall and ex-Ferrari chief engineer David Sanchez.

McLaren confirm shock exit of David Sanchez

The duo only began work at McLaren at the start of 2024 following the conclusion of their gardening leave periods, though McLaren – in an announcement out of the blue – has confirmed the exit of Sanchez from his technical director of car concept and performance position.

Shedding some light on the news, Sanchez said that the McLaren role which he had agreed to was “not aligned” with the one he found himself in.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of this team,” he said.

“While the role we envisioned and had agreed to was not aligned with the reality of the position I found, I leave with respect for the leadership, admiration for the dedication of my colleagues, and appreciation for the openness and honesty in which we discussed and arrived at this decision.

“I wish this team continued success as it continues its journey to the front of the grid where it belongs. I look forward to my next challenge within F1.” recommends

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Team boss Stella added: “Following thoughtful discussions between David Sanchez and the team leadership, the mutual decision has been taken for David to leave the team.

“Upon our joint reflection, it became apparent that the role, responsibilities, and ambitions associated with David’s position did not align with our original expectations when he agreed to join us in February 2023.

“Recognising this misalignment, both David and I agreed that it would be best to part ways now, so to enable him to pursue other opportunities that will better leverage the full scale and breadth of his remarkable skillset.

“We greatly and gratefully value the contributions that David has made during his relatively short time with us, and we wish him the best in his future endeavours.”

Sanchez’s exit has prompted various changes to the make-up of McLaren’s technical team, with Marshall taking over as chief designer and Neil Houldey becoming technical director – engineering.

Peter Prodromou will continue as technical director – aerodynamics, as Stella takes on the reworked technical director – performance role on an interim basis while McLaren search for a permanent appointment.

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