McLaren has announced it has secured the services of Sauber chief designer Matt Morris, who take up a position as the Woking team’s Engineering Director.
The Briton will depart Sauber on 1 July, with the two outfits successfully negotiating an immediate release for Morris, which will allow him to take up his new role straight after this weekend’s British Grand Prix.
Morris will report to McLaren’s recently-promoted Technical Director, Tim Goss, who took over from Paddy Lowe after he moved on to Mercedes (coincidentally, this is the first Grand Prix that Lowe is attending in Mercedes’ colours).
“Matt Morris will join McLaren Racing as Engineering Director once his current contractual situation with Sauber is resolved,” a McLaren spokesperson said today.
“[He] will work for our Technical Director, Tim Goss, to ensure our engineering standards and technical decision-making capabilities are of the highest quality.”
The appointment is interesting in many respects, particularly given the struggles of this year’s Sauber challenger, the C32, which Morris is credited with designing. The narrow-sidepod car is a radical departure from its podium-winning predecessors, and to-date it has been a comparative failure for the team. In the seven Grands Prix to-date, it has collected just two points’ finishes, leaving the Hinwil-based squad languishing in eighth place in the Constructors’ Championship standings.
That being said, McLaren’s form is equally lamentable. The team’s poor-handling MP4-28 design has proven troubled from the start, leaving the team struggling with one of its most uncompetitive championship campaigns in recent years.
Morris’ position at Sauber will be taken over by Eric Gandelin, who currently serves as the team’s Head of Concept Design.