Head of McLaren talent team resigns: ‘You are a true champion and teacher’

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Head of McLaren talent team resigns: 'You are a true champion and teacher'

On Tuesday, April 2, McLaren announced that David Sanchez was leaving McLaren after just three months, and a day later Emanuele Pirro also announced that he will be leaving McLaren. Pirro was responsible for the Driver Development Program at the British team, and announced his departure on social media.

When Sanchez left, team boss Andrea Stella pointed out a difference of vision. “During our joint consultation, it became clear that the role, responsibilities and ambitions related to David’s position were not in line with what we agreed in February 2023,” the Italian’s statement read. Sanchez only joined from Ferrari three months ago. Former Formula 1 driver Pirro also did not work for the team for long: Pirro joined McLaren in 2023, after Stella took over as team boss.

The five-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans shared the news himself: ‘After a year of hard and satisfying work, I will be leaving McLaren DDP (Driver Development Programme, ed.). Together with the Formula 1 team, I managed to set up a structure to help young, talented and hard-working drivers to develop into future world champions for McLaren,” Pirro himself opens on Instagram.

The text continues below the social media post.

“I have carried out my task as best as possible, by scouting and signing young talents who I sincerely believe can one day add their names to the history books of Formula 1,” says Pirro proudly. “I trust that DDP employees will continue to follow my path and grow the program by providing the support these young drivers need. I have tried to pass on the lessons I have learned in motorsports and the mistakes I have made to others. Now I’m taking a step back and letting the program stand on its own two feet. I am grateful for the opportunity I have been given.’

Mutual respect

Pirro concluded with a wish of success to McLaren’s young talents. ‘I wish Gabriel (Bortoleto, ed.), Ugo (Ugo Ugochukwu, ed.), Bianca (Bustamante, ed.), Pato (Patricio O’Ward, ed.), Ryo (Hirakawa, ed.), and Brando ( Badoer, ed.) good luck, just like the other young drivers with whom we already had a collaboration. The future of the sport is safely in your hands. Now I’m ready for new challenges…’

The fact that Pirro was loved by the young talents is evident from the reactions of Bortoleto and Ugochukwu under the message. ‘I can’t thank you enough for what you did for me. It was a real pleasure to work with you and to learn from you,” says Formula 2 driver Bortoleto. ‘You are a true champion and teacher, thank you!’ Ugochukwu also thanks the experienced man: ‘Thank you very much for your valuable advice!’

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