McLaren chief Zak Brown says one of Gil de Ferran’s “primary roles” is to ensure all team parts work together including the driver line-up having held regrets on how Stoffel Vandoorne’s time at the team ended.

Vandoorne, heralded as one of the brightest young talents, endured a frustrating two full seasons with McLaren in F1 in underperforming cars during the final year of the Honda partnership and the first season of the new Renault relationship.

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Ultimately, Vandoorne was axed in favour of promoting Lando Norris alongside new signing Carlos Sainz Jr for 2019.

Reflecting on the unsuccessful partnership, Brown concedes problems appeared on both sides and is hopeful of avoiding the same pitfalls next year with the all-new driver line-up. Brown sees new sporting director de Ferran as an integral part of ensuring “everyone gels, including the driver” in the team from 2019 to avert similar issues in the future.

“Someone like Stoffel is an extremely good race car driver, and for whatever reason it didn’t work out,” Brown said. “We take some responsibility for that and want to understand why this driver had such a great pedigree but it didn’t work out, and we don’t want to replicate that where we may have got that wrong or contributed to that lack of success.

“One of the things that we recognised is I think we need some additional racers in the McLaren family.

“When you look at Gil’s pedigree, first and foremost as a driver, then as a IndyCar team owner, then as a sportscar owner, he’s got a well-rounded understanding having won championships with Roger Penske of what success looks like from many different aspects of the garage, including sitting in the cockpit.

“One of Gil’s primary roles is to make sure that everyone gels, including the driver. So he’ll be spending time both with Lando and Carlos making sure that we give them the bet environment to work in.”

Vandoorne has left F1 for Formula E, competing for the Mercedes-backed HWA Racelab squad, and finished 16th on his debut earlier this month in Saudi Arabia. The Belgium driver made 41 F1 race starts for McLaren but produced just eight points finishes in that time.

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