Eric Boullier started work yesterday at McLaren as Racing Director, a position from which he will carry out the responsibilities of a Team Principal, albeit with a different job title.
It was reported last week that there has been a further change, with the departure of Marcin Budkowski, the Polish born Head of Aerodynamics since 2012 at McLaren, who had been due to work alongside Peter Prodromou, Adrian Newey’s right hand man at Red Bull Racing, as well as his existing colleague Doug McKiernan, Chief Aerodynamicist, who remains with the team.
But in a further twist, it now appears that Prodromou’s arrival at McLaren is looking less likely to happen as Red Bull Racing have been working hard to get him to stay. The Englishman of Greek Cypriot parentage signed a contract with McLaren last autumn, but Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said at the time that he would not release his man until “at least” the end of his existing agreement with the Milton Keynes squad.
Now, in scenes reminiscent of Ron Dennis persuading Newey not to leave McLaren for Jaguar Racing despite signing a contract to go in the summer of 2001, it seems that Prodromou may stay at Newey’s side.
Contractually he is due to join McLaren at the end of his current contract, but there are indications that Red Bull wants to retain its man. McLaren would probably sue for breach of contract if he did not come to the team, but that is a matter of financial settlement, which Red Bull can well afford.
* Meanwhile McLaren’s Performance Academy is set to open its doors to talented young drivers from 13 years upwards this year as the programme enters its second year.
The Academy provides education and support which will help young drivers to hone their talents and learn about fitness, nutrition, hydration and other aspects of the driver’s game. Anyone interested in applying for a place should email email@example.com