With Eric Boullier resigning on Tuesday night, McLaren announced a senior management restructure on Wednesday. We take a look at the key people in the team's new "simplified technical leadership".
Gil de Ferran - Sporting director
As a two-time ChampCar champion in 2000 and 2001, de Ferran has enjoyed success in motorsports both on and off the track. As McLaren's new sporting director he will oversee engineering and driver performance in a similar role to the one he had at B.A.R. (now the Mercedes F1 team) between 2005 and 2007. After working with Fernando Alonso during his Indy 500 assault last season, de Ferran joined McLaren's F1 operation as a consultant earlier this year. However, team CEO Zak Brown insists it wasn't always the plan to move him into a more permanent role.
"So we brought Gil in a few months ago as we identified that we could probably use someone with Gil's sporting experience to get the most out of our drivers, our engineers, have a fresh set of eyes in the garage," he said.
"It was not our plan at that time to have him in this role. "What we identified was an area in which we thought that he could contribute and as we have worked with him and things have evolved it has naturally fallen into place that we thought he would make an excellent sporting director. But that was not set out in a defined way when he first started."
Andrea Stella - Engineering director
Stella made the move to McLaren from Ferrari alongside Fernando Alonso at the end of 2014 after working as the Spaniard's race engineer for several seasons. On joining McLaren in 2015 he moved into a more senior role and in 2017 took over many of responsibilities former team manager Dave Redding had previously held, including working directly with the FIA.
His new position promotes him to the top of the team's trackside engineering team, according to Brown.
"Ultimately at the race weekend Andrea Stella will make the final call as he is there to ultimately drive the absolute performance of the race weekend," Brown explained. "He will of course consult and collaborate, whether that's with engineers, Gil de Ferran, Paul James (team manager), whoever he feels he needs to work with to get the information he needs to make that final call. So Andrea is there to maximize the weekend."
Simon Roberts - Chief operating officer
Roberts has been at McLaren since 2003 and, although rarely in the spotlight, has held key roles within the team during that time. In 2009 he was seconded to Force India for a season but returned to McLaren in 2010 where he has worked as the team's COO ever since. He will continue to oversee production, engineering and logistics and will report directly to Brown on all matters to do with the technical side of the car.
Will Boullier be replaced?
Not directly in the short-term, although the three men named above will absorb his responsibilities in the running of the team. Brown has not ruled out a new racing director in the future.
"I think at this point, we've not made any decisions on what is definitively in, what's definitively out. This is the start of the process, everything is being reviewed. So in due course, I'm going to withhold from giving a play-by-play on how we're going to rebuild our team to race-winning success. So to specifically answer that question, we haven't made any final determinations of what is in and what is out."