Andrea Stella wants to strengthen McLaren F1’s aero department after discovering it to be a key weakness and a huge problem for the team to reach and surpass the top 3 Formula 1 teams. Therefore, McLaren F1’s new team boss Andrea Stella wants to strengthen the team’s aerodynamics department for the 2023 season, with a new wind tunnel and simulator already under construction in Woking.
McLaren’s new chief executive Andrea Stella believes a larger team of aerodynamicists can help the Woking-based team close the gap on the leaders in 2023.
Andrea Stella was recently promoted to the position of McLaren team boss, directly replacing German Andreas Seidl who has joined Sauber as CEO in preparation for the Audi merger.
Stella will have the tough task of ensuring McLaren moves up the order in 2023 after finishing the 2022 campaign in fifth place in the constructors’ championship. The Italian has studied and identified key areas of weakness within McLaren, calling out specifically the aero department as a weakness.
McLaren invests heavily in aero
In terms of areas for improvement within the McLaren team, Andrea Stella believes that the aerodynamics department could benefit from further growth during the 2023 season to enable McLaren to further close the gap with Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes and also Alpine, who the British team battled against throughout the 2022 season.
“Where we would like to take a step forward is to have a fast car. Some of the reasons we have not been able to do that so far have been structural, but there are some good actions and investments going on at McLaren, so we can overcome those limitations,” Stella explained to the American publication, Racer.
“Everyone knows that we have important infrastructure coming up in 2023 like the wind tunnel and a new simulator. So completing this venture is certainly one of my priorities.”
“At the same time, we want to strengthen certain areas of the team, and we know that fundamentally it’s going to be in aerodynamics, so that’s one of the areas we want to strengthen. I think we have some incredible talent in that area, so it’s one of the ongoing projects that I’ll give some continuity to.”
In a somewhat worrying statement, Stella plans to use his technical background to stay involved in the development of the car as much as possible this year, with the Italian more likely to leave the media duties to McLaren CEO Zak Brown. The heavily bias technical background with the McLaren boss being similar to the outgoing Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto who was ousted from the Italian team last month.
“I think my style will be to be a hands-on team boss. The opportunities we have is that I have been confronted and exposed to the engineering and racing elements of Formula One throughout my career. So I’ll be close to the fundamental goals of the team which is ultimately to build a fast car and drive that car effectively while being on track.”
The McLaren team will present its car for the 2023 season on February 13. In 2023, the British team will have a new driver pairing of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri.