Sam Michael believes McLaren's strength in depth is one of the keys to having been so successful in Formula 1 over the years.
Michael, a former technical director at Williams, left the British squad at the end of last year to join McLaren as sporting director. He says he is already feeling at home with McLaren, and admits working with the team has been made easier because of its synergy.
"I am really proud to be working for McLaren even though I haven't been here long," Michael said during the launch of the MP4-27. It is a big family. There are a lot of people here taking good care of relationships, and it makes a big difference in a high-pressure environment; more than I expected and it helps you perform.
"One of the drivers used a buzzword, that the synergy of this place is strength in depth. It is a bigger strength of this company. This strength in depth is not something you buy off the shop floor. It's not like a seven-post rig you can go buy, install and catch up. It is instilled over years, it is ingrained in the company. It is rewarding working around it."
Michael said McLaren is already a well-oiled machine and conceded he hasn't been able to influence the new car much since his arrival.
"I work with the senior management group, my main focus in that group is trackside, sorting out the race team. It's already a very refined machine. It's all about trying to create a new benchmark, work car quality, operational reliability...
"It is early days. I came in at the end of last year and a lot of the car – 90 percent of it – was already designed. There are different aspects to the way we go racing and I had quite a lot of involvement."