The name of Andrea Stella is becoming increasingly well-known inside and outside the paddock, especially thanks to McLaren’s progress in the latter part of the 2023 Formula One season. He brought his vast experience to the Woking team, gained over 23 years in the sport, alongside great champions like Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso. In particular, the engineer played an almost starring role during Scuderia Ferrari’s years of dominance at the beginning of the millennium, where he witnessed the competence of the team members, from Luca di Montezemolo to Jean Todt and James Allison.
In the large Maranello group, however, the true driving force was the German champion, whom the Italian praised extensively. “Michael was the emotional engine, the source of energy, with his desire to win. I struggle to find the right words because his ambition was so great that a team was needed to manage it. Jean Todt, Ross Brawn, and Luca Cordero di Montezemolo were all necessary to balance and distribute his strength through many people. He fueled the team with his commitment and determination to succeed in the name of Ferrari. It was very contagious: if you weren’t motivated and happened to work with him, the determination returned immediately.” – the Italian engineer pointed out in a recent interview.
The bond between people and trust was the key ingredient that led Ferrari to success, guided by Michael Schumacher’s personality and talent, as Andrea Stella revealed on Beyond the Grid. “It was common not to feel comfortable. That was the standard because we were there to win, and there was no other option. We wanted to triumph, but deep down, we were still teammates, and this translated into an emotional bond, almost like a family. Michael was an extremely sensitive person. He needed to connect with the team to win, and this could be done if you gave him the exact solutions, whether they were in the car, in the setup, or in traction control. You gave him a hand, and he turned the help into success.” – the current team principal of McLaren concluded.
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