“An unmissable opportunity,” that’s how McLaren’s team principal, Andrea Stella, defined the acquisition of Rob Marshall, the former key technician at Red Bull who will soon be joining the papaya-colored team. The signing of Rob Marshall adds to that of David Sanchez, the former head of vehicle performance at Scuderia Ferrari, where he was the reference point for aerodynamics.
McLaren had a rather subdued start to the 2023 Formula 1 championship, an expected handicap that was openly acknowledged by Andrea Stella in terms of communication strategy, which was nothing but the truth. As quiet as the season began, the performance in the British Grand Prix at the Silverstone circuit was resounding, narrowly missing a double podium due to an unfortunate Safety Car period for Oscar Piastri.
McLaren’s present has taken a sharp turn in a positive direction, with signs that bode well for the future as the upcoming cars, especially the 2025 F1 project, will bear the input of David Sanchez and Rob Marshall.
Andrea Stella’s words on David Sanchez
“I’ve known him since we worked together at Ferrari, and I met him again during our discussions before he signed with McLaren. He is one of the most interesting and creative personalities in Formula 1, as evidenced by Ferrari’s strong starts in both 2017 and 2022, seasons marked by significant regulatory changes. We can’t wait for him to start working and further elevate the level of technical growth,” stated Andrea Stella in an interview with FormulaPassion.it during the Silverstone weekend.
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In 2017, the Ferrari SF70H single-seater secured three wins and three second places with Sebastian Vettel in the first six races of the Formula 1 season. This season saw the introduction of wider rear tires and other regulatory changes aimed at increasing mechanical grip for the cars.
In 2022, Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc achieved two victories and a second place in the first three races. These lightning-fast starts, according to Andrea Stella, are not coincidental, as Ferrari has shown strong performances during important regulatory changes, thanks in part to figures like David Sanchez, who will now be available to McLaren ahead of the anticipated revolution in 2026 with the arrival of the new regulatory cycle for power units.