David Sanchez has left McLaren just three months after returning to the team from Ferrari.

McLaren team principal Andrea Stella said he and Sanchez agreed he was “misaligned” in the role he took on last January.

“Following thoughtful discussions between David Sanchez and the team leadership, the mutual decision has been taken for David to leave the team,” said Stella. “Upon our joint reflection, it became apparent that the role, responsibilities and ambitions associated with David’s position did not align with our original expectations when he agreed to join us in February 2023.

“Recognising this misalignment, both David and I agreed that it would be best to part ways now, so to enable him to pursue other opportunities that will better leverage the full scale and breadth of his remarkable skillset. We greatly and gratefully value the contributions that David has made during his relatively short time with us and we wish him the best in his future endeavours.”

The team announced in March last year Sanchez had been hired as part of a shake-up of its technical division in the wake of its poor start to the season, when former technical James Key left the team. Sanchez was originally named as McLaren’s new technical director.

Two months later McLaren announced it had also hired Rob Marshall from Red Bull. He was given the role of “technical director, engineering and design” while Sanchez was named “technical director for car concept and performance.” Meanwhile Neil Houldey was given the brief of “of deputy technical director, engineering and design.”

However Sanchez said today the role he took on did not match his expectations. “While the role we envisioned and had agreed to was not aligned with the reality of the position I found, I leave with respect for the leadership, admiration for the dedication of my colleagues, and appreciation for the openness and honesty in which we discussed and arrived at this decision.”

His first role in F1 was with Renault, after which he spent five years at McLaren, then joined Ferrari in 2013. Sanchez indicated he intends to find a new role within F1.

Following Sanchez’s departure, McLaren has again revised its technical structure. Marshall is now chief designer, Houldey is technical director for engineering and Peter Prodromou remains technical director for aerodynamics. The team also intends to appoint a technical director for performance, and Stella will hold that position in the meantime.

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