McLaren have appointed Sauber’s chief designer Matt Morris as their new engineering director, working for technical director Tim Goss.
Goss was promoted to his current role earlier this year when Paddy Lowe left the position to become executive director (technical) at Mercedes.
It is not yet known when Morris will take up the role. The team said in a statement that he had been recruited to help work on the team’s 2014 project – when 1.6-litre V6 engines are introduced – as well as 2015 when McLaren will switch Mercedes engines for Honda units.
Morris worked closely at Williams with Sporting Director Sam Michael, who is likely to have recommended him for the position.
A McLaren spokesperson said: “Matt Morris will join McLaren Racing as engineering director once his current contractual situation with Sauber is resolved.
“Matt will work for our technical director, Tim Goss, to ensure our engineering standards and technical decision-making capabilities are of the highest quality.
“During a period of intense technical challenge within Formula 1, Matt’s appointment is the first step in an ongoing programme to strengthen the engineering department as our organisation prepares for the arrival of Honda in 2015.”
McLaren’s sporting director Sam Michael said: “With the amount of work we have ahead of next year’s regulation changes and also the Honda project, it’s quite a chunky piece of work.
“It’s happening at the moment but Matt coming will definitely help us add to that engineering strength. I’m looking forward to him joining.”
Sauber have promoted Eric Gandelin to the role of chief designer following Morris’ departure.
The Swiss team’s boss Monish Kaltenborn played down the loss of Morris. “It’s just part of the natural movement that happens in the paddock,” Kaltenborn told Autosport.
“People decide to change teams and we have a replacement who I am very confident is the right person to take up this job and the challenges.
“In our business, you never have much warning [of such a move] and that is part of it. You have to be able to react very quickly and we have resolved it.”