McLaren has intensified its push to recruit top-level personnel in the wake of the restructuring of its technical department. The hiring campaign aims to boost the team’s aero department, which was found to be less strong than desired in a comprehensive review of the organisation last winter. The drive has already resulted in agreements with 15 people, including senior staff from teams such as Red Bull, Ferrari and Aston Martin. One key hire is Aston Martin‘s head of aero performance and analysis, Alperin. The push follows the recent appointment of former Ferrari man David Sanchez, due to join in 2024.
Alperin has played a major role in the transformation of Aston Martin, the nearest challenger to Red Bull in F1. He has a wealth of F1 experience, with stints at AGS and Minardi followed by ten years at Honda, where he became head of aerodynamics. He then spent a decade at Sauber and joined Aston Martin last year as chief of aerodynamic technology.
McLaren has created a new Technical Executive Team as part of the restructure, which will comprise Sanchez (car concept), Neil Houldey (engineering and design) and Peter Prodromou (aerodynamics). The trio will report directly to team principal Andrea Stella. McLaren believes the changes are needed for the team to capitalise on upcoming opportunities, with the wind tunnel and simulator due to be fully operational later this year.
The shake-up follows a period where the team was seen to be lacking in structural terms, according to CEO Zak Brown. Speaking of the restructure, Brown said: “It has been clear to me for some time that our technical development has not moved at a quick enough pace to match our ambition of returning to the front of the grid. I’m pleased that, having completed a full review with Andrea, we are now able to implement the restructure required to set the wheels in motion to turn this around.”