Andrea Stella Discusses Transparent Leadership at McLaren F1

Andrea Stella, McLaren's team principal, talks about his straightforward communication style in his inaugural year in Formula 1 leadership.


By Ben Bush
Updated on January 16, 2024

Andrea Stella Discusses Transparent Leadership at McLaren F1

Andrea Stella stepped into the role previously held by Andreas Seidl, who moved to Audi at the beginning of the 2023 season. He has been recognised for guiding McLaren in a new direction, revamping the technical framework at their Woking headquarters, and establishing himself as an open and direct leader to the public and media.

When it became evident that McLaren had not met its initial goals for the 2023 season, Stella quickly addressed the issues and shared his strategy to realign the team’s season. In a conversation with, Stella was asked if his straightforwardness was an intentional approach, to which he responded: “I have a very simple strategy: just say things as they are. It’s very simple. It puts you in a solid place.

READ MORE: Oscar Piastri’s Exceptional 2023 Rookie Season in F1

“If you try to create stories that don’t reflect the reality, that will allow you to get away with it for a short term, but it’s not creating foundations. If we want to create foundations we need to just stick with what we know, stick with what we think is true.

“Eventually I would rather say, ‘I cannot share this because I don’t want to give it away to our competitors or because it’s sensitive, or simply because I’m uncertain and I don’t want to offer an opinion just to show that I can talk about anything’. I’d rather say [nothing].

Stella’s candidness not only shapes McLaren’s external communications but also influences the team’s internal workings. He emphasises that honesty is a core value deeply embedded in their culture.

“Intellectual honesty, rigorousness – they are very important. And they are not important because they belong to me. They are important because they belong to our culture as a team,” he expanded.

“That means that this is an expectation from anybody working at McLaren. Intellectual honesty, rigorousness – acknowledging facts for what they are. Because once we know that, then we can do something about it. But creating after facts is just a short-lived approach.”

Under Stella’s leadership, McLaren launched a series of improvements, resulting in significant mid-season upgrades. These enhancements enabled drivers Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri to contend for podiums, contributing to McLaren’s ascent to fourth place in the constructors’ standings. Reflecting on his inaugural season as head, Stella expressed that he found fulfillment not only in the late-season success of nine podiums but also in the challenging initial months of the season.

“I have to say, I was enjoying it – this new experience in my professional career – even when the results weren’t very good on track,” he replied.

“This is because effectively the real motivation, the real enjoyment I get in this job comes from the interactions with people.

“And then seeing that the group you are trying to build grows and seeing the people picking up, developing, becoming more competent, becoming more confident – this is actually what gives me the energy that generates the determination.

READ MORE: Lando Norris: The Rising Star in Formula 1’s Future

“When results on-track come, this is a reinforcement, this is an amplification. But you can’t base the motivation, you can’t base even the ultimate reasoning why you do this on results. You do it on the sense of building.”


Seen in:

About The Author

Chief Editor

Ben Bush

Ben is our chief editor specialising in F1 from the 1990s to the modern era. Ben has been following Formula 1 since 1986 and is an avid researcher who loves understanding the technology that makes it one of the most exciting motorsport on the planet. He listens to podcasts about F1 on a daily basis, and enjoys reading books from the inspirational Adrian Newey to former F1 drivers.

Latest Reads