McLaren have recruited senior Red Bull designer Rob Marshall as part of their restructure aimed at turning around their fortunes in Formula 1.
Marshall has been a key member of Red Bull’s design team for 17 years, most recently as chief engineering officer.
Team principal Andrea Stella said securing Marshall, 55, was a “fundamental step to aid the team’s journey back to winning ways”.
Marshall will join McLaren at the start of 2024.
His title will be technical director, engineering and design.
Marshall will be one of three designers all with the title technical director, responsible for different areas of the car, all reporting into Stella.
The others are Peter Prodromou on aerodynamics and former Ferrari designer David Sanchez on car concept and performance.
Prodromou has been with McLaren since 2014. Sanchez starts work at the same time as Marshall on 1 January next year.
McLaren’s recruitment drive is part of a programme aimed at speeding up their journey back to competitiveness.
They made significant progress through 2019-21 after sinking to a low in 2018, which they ended with one of the two slowest cars on the grid.
But their progress stalled last year and has dropped back again in 2023, leading Stella and McLaren Racing chief executive officer Zak Brown to make major changes, most notably the departure of technical director James Key in March.
Marshall’s recruitment is a major coup for the team, as he will bring with him insight into Red Bull’s continuing ability to produce one of the fastest cars in F1.
Red Bull have dominated since new technical rules were introduced at the start of last season.
Stella said: “We are a team with the ambition of fighting for championships, but over the last couple of seasons we have not shown a steady upward trend from an on-track competitiveness point of view.
“Over the last few months, we have worked towards inverting this trend.
“The approach we have adopted is comprehensive and is based on strengthening the team from a people and expertise point of view, along with the ongoing projects to upgrade technology and infrastructure that will shortly come to fruition.”
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said: “Rob’s work on the generation of cars that gave us four incredible championship doubles between 2010 and 2013 was truly outstanding.
“In the years since he has continued to be a key figure at the team and in 2016 took on the broader role of chief engineering officer which has seen him involved in other projects across the business. His influence will be missed.”
McLaren are also investing in infrastructure, particularly with a new wind tunnel that comes on stream this year and which will be followed by a new simulator.
Within F1, McLaren’s approach of having three parallel technical directors reporting into the team principal has been questioned – most teams have a single design lead with heads of department under them.
But Stella has insisted that the approach will work.