Stella joined McLaren from Ferrari alongside Fernando Alonso where he was the two-time World Champion’s race engineer at the Scuderia.
Asked to explain the key differences in working for the two prestigious Formula 1 teams, Stella said from an operational standpoint it is pretty much the same.
Where it differs is that working for Ferrari is not just a job, it becomes a way of life due to Italy’s obsession and passion for the team.
“Simply, the fans don’t know that, to reach a high level of performance, you need time,” Stella told AutoMoto.
“You need two/three years of work, for the reliability you need five years of research.
“Ferrari have great people, the same equipment, the same availability that I found here in UK.
“The difference is that in the UK it is only a job. When I finish work, I go out of the office and go to the bar, maybe meet people from other team and have a chat then go home, maybe the staff knows I am working in Formula 1 but they don’t care.
“When I was in Ferrari it wasn’t a job. It was a mission that completely absorbs you. When I finished working, I was going to the bar and the barista would ask me ‘so Ferrari…are we winning this year?’
“You would go to the restaurant and the waitress will stop you and ask ‘are we winning this season?’ You would open the newspaper and every morning there was an article on Ferrari.
“In Maranello you never switch off, it’s not a job it is something else completely.
“The actual work is just the same.”
Asked if Ferrari are in a position to end their long-running title drought, Stella thinks everything is in the place. The question marks once again arise from the team mentality.
“Ferrari has everything it needs, especially with the experience and knowledge of someone like Mattia Binotto,” he added.
“So it’s just a matter of time. The problem is that at Maranello you never have time. You always feel the sense of urgency.”