The 51-year-old Italian has worked in F1 for two decades, including a 14-year spell at Ferrari that began in 2000, having graduated in Aerospace Engineering and completed a Ph.D in Mechanical Engineering. 

Stella joined Ferrari as a performance engineer, initially working with the test team. Between 2002 and 2006, Stella worked with Michael Schumacher

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Following seven-time world champion Schumacher’s retirement at the end of 2006, he carried out the same role for Kimi Raikkonen before becoming the Finn's race engineer in 2009.

After Raikkonen left F1 to compete in the World Rally Championship, Stella began a long stint as Fernando Alonso’s race engineer between 2010 and 2014. 

Having formed a strong relationship with Alonso, Stella decided to go with the two-time world champion when he left Ferrari for McLaren at the end of 2014. 

Stella joined McLaren as head of race operations, before two quick-fire promotions followed, firstly becoming performance director in 2018 and then racing director in 2019 as part of McLaren’s new three-pronged management structure along with technical director James Key and production director Piers Thynne. 

Why was Stella appointed? 

Under the leadership of team principal Andreas Seidl and McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown, Stella has played an instrumental role in spearheading the Woking-based outfit’s recent revival and recovery from their 2015-2018 slump. 

Ultimately, it was this work, combined with his experience with McLaren and Ferrari that made him the obvious number one candidate to replace Seidl. 

Brown confirmed Stella was always McLaren’s “first choice” to succeed Seidl, with the team already planning to install Stella as team principal after Seidl informed the team he was joining Audi for 2026. 

Seidl’s exit was ultimately fast-tracked as part of a team boss merry-go-round that saw Sauber/Alfa Romeo lose Frederic Vasseur to Ferrari. 

“Andrea obviously has a wealth of experience, not only with McLaren, but a rich history with Ferrari,” Brown told media including on Tuesday. 

“So he’s someone that, we knew, knew the team inside out. He is a very hands-on person in the racing team, which was of high interest to me and the shareholders to have someone leading the team that gets their hands dirty, so to speak.”