Word on the beat

Binotto rumours and talk of a 50% female F1 team

  • McLaren’s technical department has been restructured in the wake of the departure of technical director James Key. Former aero chief Peter Prodromou, becomes technical director of aerodynamics. Technical director of engineering and design is Neil Houldey (formerly director of car concept). Scheduled to join in January 2024 after his gardening leave from Ferrari has been served is David Sanchez as technical director of car concept and performance. The team’s new wind tunnel is on schedule to be running by the latter half of this year.

    Peter Prodromou

    Peter Prodromou (right)

    Getty Images

  • Mattia Binotto is being talked about as a potential new team boss at Alpine next year. If so, current Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekies – a close ally of Binotto’s – could go with him.
  • Craig Pollock – former manager of Jacques Villeneuve and former BAR team boss – is attempting to launch a new F1 team for 2026, based in Saudi Arabia and with a target of a 50% female staffing level.
  • Michael Andretti’s team is still making preparations for an F1 entry in 2026, with a base now in Silverstone and CFD creation of 2024 and ’25 cars.
  • Honda is set to make a final decision in June on whether it will produce an F1 power unit for the 2026 regulations. The F1 technical group is currently working all-out on such an engine, but is still trying to convince the main board to green light the project. If it goes ahead, Aston Martin is believed to be a strong contender for a supply, as Red Bull is committed to creating and running its own Red Bull Powertrains unit.

    Verstappen white Red Bull in the garage