The team boss silly season continues and to be honest, I can’t recall a time when there have been so many team boss changes in F1 during the off season or any season.
As we just announced, Fred Vasseur is going to take the helm at Ferrari and many were suggesting this might be the case but I’m not sure I saw this one coming. McLaren announced that Andrea Stella will take the place of Andreas Seidl.
McLaren Press Release:
McLaren Racing announces that Andrea Stella will move from Executive Director, Racing to F1 Team Principal with immediate effect. Andreas Seidl will leave the team and then move on to another challenge.
Andrea has a wealth of F1 experience and has proven successful both on and off the track. He has been a key member of the McLaren F1 team since 2015, working as Head of Race Operations, Performance Director and since 2019 as Executive Director, Racing. Andrea began his career with 15-years at Ferrari, including as Performance Engineer for Michael Schumacher and Kimi Räikkönen (2002-2008) and then as Race Engineer for Räikkönen and Fernando Alonso (2009-2015). Andrea has a degree in Aerospace Engineering, and subsequently completed a PhD in Mechanical Engineering.
Zak Brown, CEO, McLaren Racing, said:
“I’m delighted that Andrea Stella will step into the Team Principal role and lead our F1 technical and operational programme. Andrea is a highly talented, experienced and respected member of our team with a strong track record of leadership and success in Formula 1. His move into this role is a great example of the strength in depth we have in our team, and I’m excited to be working more closely with him with a joint focus on moving up the grid and winning races.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with Andreas. He has provided great leadership for the team and has played a significant part in our F1 performance recovery plan and ongoing journey to return to the front of the grid. I thank him for the transparency throughout the process which gave us time to plan accordingly.”
Andrea Stella, new F1 Team Principal, McLaren Racing, said:
“I feel privileged to take on the Team Principal role as the next stage of being part of the McLaren F1 Team. I am grateful to Zak and the Shareholders for their trust in me and to all my colleagues and those who have supported me throughout my F1 career. We are realistic about the amount of work ahead of us to move back up the grid, but I am excited and encouraged that I am in this journey together with a team full of talent, experience, racing spirit and dedication. I look forward to working closely with each of them, Lando and Oscar, to together achieving great success and enjoying the journey.”
Andreas Seidl, former F1 Team Principal, McLaren Racing, said:
“I joined McLaren in 2019 and have really enjoyed working with Zak and the team. We have achieved some good results, and I will always have fond memories, with Monza being a personal and career highlight. The team is on a great trajectory, and I would like to thank everyone for their support, trust and commitment. Thanks to Zak and the shareholders for their understanding of my personal decision to move on to another challenge. I wish Andrea and the team all the best for the future.”
Now, it’s fair to say I didn’t see this one coming but it’s hard not to see the opportunity before Andreas at Sauber (soon to be Audi). Andreas will replace Fred Vasseur and his ties to Porsche and Sauber in the past make sense although I do believe this is a blow to McLaren.
Stella is a good replacement and I’m sure he will do well given his history at Ferrari but Andreas was making real progress with McLaren.
A key to Ferrari’s future?
For me, the real sign for Ferrari is if Seidl makes better progress with Sauber than Fred did. If that comes to pass, Ferrari might have something to worry about if I’m honest.