McLaren CEO Zak Brown says the team must learn from the failing of Stoffel Vandoorne as they begin a new era with Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz at the wheel. Vandoorne entered F1 with a huge reputation, but leaves with it in tatters after a dismal two years.
The Belgian qualified slower than teammate Fernando Alonso at every grand prix in 2018 and only finished ahead of the Spaniard on track twice in two years.
Vandoorne has switched to Formula E with the Mercedes-affiliated HWA team after becoming the latest in a growing line of McLaren youngsters to struggle.
Sergio Perez and Kevin Magnussen have done well to rebuild after tough spells with the team and Norris' promotion in 2019 has put Brown on high alert.
"We recognise that someone like Stoffel is an extremely good race car driver and for whatever reason it didn't work out," Brown said in an end-of-2018 review.
"We take some responsibility for that and want to understand why this driver with such a great pedigree didn't work out. We don't want to replicate that, where we may have got that wrong or contributed to that lack of success."
Brown highlighted the appointment of Gil de Ferran to the role of sporting director as a key move in McLaren's attempts to maximise performance next year.
"One of his many roles is effectively my right-hand man in all things McLaren Racing as sporting director," said Brown.
"One of the things that I would recognise is I think we need some additional racers in the McLaren family. If you look at Gil's pedigree first and foremost as a driver, the as an IndyCar team owner, and as a sports car owner, he's got a well-rounded understanding having won championships with Roger Penske what success looks like from many different aspects including sitting in the cockpit.
"One of his primary roles is to make sure that everyone gels including the driver and so he'll be spending time both with Lando and Carlos making sure that we give them the best environment to work in."
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