McLaren‘s focus for improving its performance lies beyond just the power unit, according to team boss Andrea Stella. While other teams like Aston Martin are emphasizing the significance of a works partnership starting in 2026, Stella believes there are other factors that have a bigger impact on car speed. Stella is more concerned with addressing the fundamental elements that limit McLaren‘s performance, such as aerodynamics and tire performance. He sees the power unit as a final incremental element of differentiation, rather than a major preoccupation. McLaren is currently in advanced talks with Mercedes to continue their customer relationship beyond 2025. Despite acknowledging the advantages of being a works team, Stella does not view it as a fundamental differentiator for winning.
Stella’s priority is for McLaren to be competitive by 2026, not relying on more years of development due to an immature project. He wants the team to have a strong chassis and a sound power unit. While being a works team would be preferable, Stella does not believe it is crucial for winning. McLaren‘s goal is to be at the front of the grid in terms of performance.
In order to improve their competitiveness, McLaren has implemented a new technical structure within the team. This structure involves three heads contributing their expertise in designing the car. Rob Marshall will lead the engineering and design aspects, Peter Prodromou will oversee aerodynamics, and David Sanchez will lead concept development. Stella believes this configuration is strong because it focuses on generating competitive ideas rather than placing emphasis on decision-making roles. McLaren has struggled in the past to bring competitive ideas to the table, and Stella believes this new organization will address that challenge. He notes that this structure is similar to how other successful teams, like Red Bull, operate.