McLaren Racing managing director Jonathan Neale confirmed today that Red Bull’s head of aerodynamics will return to the Woking team.
Peter Prodromou, who worked at McLaren from 1991 to 2006 before following Adrian Newey to Red Bull, is set to rejoin McLaren in 2015 – although his current employer is still hoping to hang on to him, with Christian Horner saying that the deal was “not set in stone.”
Nevertheless McLaren is adamant that the team has got its man.
“Yes we have recruited Peter,” said Neale. “We’re really excited about him joining the team. It’s not a one-off thing that we’re doing, in that we’ve made some moves in the course of this year.
“There are other things that we are doing to strengthen our team, so it’s a series of moves as we head towards 2015 with Honda to make sure that this team stays at the forefront of F1 and is set for winning ways. It’s very difficult for the guys here this weekend to put the amount of effort in and deliver the result that we’ve just done, but we don’t intend to hang around here for very long.”
Neale said that other people will be joining the team before Prodromou.
“As you’d expect in our organization there’s a pipeline of things coming through. I would say that the one that’s broken in the press today is the furthest away, but there’s a lot more happening in the short term.”
Expanding on the contribution Promdromou could make, he said: “I’ve worked with Peter before, worked closely at McLaren when he was on his last tour of duty there. He’s a great guy, he’s very competitive. But no one person makes a difference in a team like this. It’s how they fit in, how we play to their strengths, and it’s who else we put around them.
“I’m very confident that Peter can make a good contribution, but I’m very confident as well that the guys that we have internally and some of the developments we have are equally as exciting, and it will play as a good squad.”
Meanwhile Jenson Button said he was encouraged by the recruitment drive.
“It’s great,” said Button. “Looking at this season it’s not been a great year for us, it’s been a pretty tough year for us all. You do have to remember that we’ve brought very good cars for the last few years, we’ve got many victories and we’ve been very close to winning World Championships.
“The people that are already working within this team and have been for many years since I’ve been here are still doing a mega job, but I think that it is nice that we are adding to their skills and experience of working up and down the pit lane. It’s great that Jonathan, Martin [Whitmarsh] and everybody else are looking outside of the box, if you like. It’s going to help us a lot in the future.”