The 51-year-old Italian will step up to run McLaren’s F1 team next season having been named as Sauber-bound Andreas Seidl’s replacement

It will mark Stella’s first time in such a leading role at an F1 team, having enjoyed a long career as an engineer. 

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Stella worked with Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso as a race engineer at Ferrari, before moving to McLaren in 2015. During his time at Woking, Stella has served as head of race operations, performance director and most recently racing director. 

He has worked under the likes of ex-Ferrari bosses Jean Todt and Stefano Domenicali and Seidl, who along with Stella and production director Piers Thynne, helped spearhead McLaren’s recent revival. 

“I worked with more than three, but you learn from anybody,” said Stella. 

“I think for me that’s a very strong philosophy, especially when you work together with strong personalities and very capable people. There’s a lot to learn.” 

What Stella learnt from Todt

“First of all Jean Todt, his incredible dedication to the team and to his role is something that gave me a bit of an imprint of what it means to be committed, overall kind of early imprinting of my career in F1, having a privilege to work in such a successful environment in the Ferrari of 2000s.” 

What Stella learnt from Domenicali 

“Stefano is definitely a people person, and Formula 1 is about engineering operations, but is ultimately very much about people. From Stefano I understood elements and qualities that you need to take, highly regarded as a team principal, and also his way of interacting with people based on respect, listening, and just think managing your ego, somehow. 

What Stella learnt from Seidl 

“Andreas, we worked even more closely, I think he also brought some engineering experience so this was very useful for me also in shaping up the race team, making progress in some of the areas like pit stop. If we talk about progress made in terms of pit stops by McLaren I would like to pay tribute to Andreas’ input. 

“So from what I have taken from collaborating with Andreas is the importance of knowing the business, the importance of knowing even the technical, operational, engineering aspects, so you can coach people, you can support people, in a more effective way to make progress.”