McLaren appoint Andreas Seidl as new F1 boss
Last Updated: 12/02/19 10:39am
McLaren have appointed Andreas Seidl as managing director of their Formula 1 team.
Seidl formerly headed Porsche's World Endurance Championship outfit and will join McLaren "during 2019".
Update: Since this article was first published, McLaren have confirmed that Seidl will start work at the team on May 1.
Seidl will report directly to Zak Brown, McLaren's chief executive, and has been charged with "responsibility for all aspects of the team's F1 racing programme".
Without an F1 win in five years, McLaren finished sixth in the Constructors' Championship in 2018.
During a season of considerable upheaval, McLaren parted with team boss Eric Boullier in July.
"We are delighted that Andreas is joining McLaren to lead our F1 technical and operational programme," said Brown. "This is a significant appointment for us on two fronts.
"First, it is another important step in our F1 performance recovery plan and long-term commitment to F1. Second, concentrated senior leadership on our F1 programme is an integral part of the long-term strategy of McLaren Racing to expand into other forms of global motorsport over time.
"Andreas is a highly-capable leader with a track record of success in everything he has been involved with, and I look forward to working with him."
Who is Andreas Seidl?
Seidl is a 46-year-old German who previously worked in F1 for BMW between 2000 and 2009.
After working for BMW Motorsport from 2000 to 2006, he then took the role of track operations until 2009 at BMW Sauber.
Prior to joining Porsche, Seidl was in charge of BMW's DTM operation.
He will now carry the title of managing director, McLaren F1 once the date of his arrival at Woking is confirmed.
"This is an enormous privilege and challenge, which I am ready for and committed to. To have an opportunity to contribute to the McLaren legacy is extremely special and inspiring," he said.
"McLaren has the vision, leadership and experience but, most importantly, the people to return to the front, and that will be my absolute focus and mission."
Who's in charge where at McLaren?
In an apparent reaction to their disappointing performances in 2018 following their switch from Honda to Renault power, McLaren have made a series of management changes over the last year.
Along with Boullier, who resigned ahead of the British GP, technical chief Tim Goss and engineering chief Matt Morris also departed in 2018.
But the team also responded by hiring Gil de Ferran as sporting director and Pat Fry as engineering director, while Andrea Stella was promoted to performance director and Simon Roberts put in charge of overseeing production, engineering and logistics.
James Key has also been hired as new technical director but, with the Englishman currently on 'gardening leave' at Toro Rosso, his start date at McLaren is as yet unknown.
Brown said before Christmas that Fry will "lead and co-ordinate the design and delivery of the MCL34".
The new car will be unveiled on February 14 by new driver line-up Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris.
Who's who at McLaren in 2019?
|Race driver||Carlos Sainz|
|Race driver||Lando Norris|
|Test driver||Sergio Sette Camara|
|Chief Executive Officer||Zak Brown|
|Sporting Director||Gil de Ferran|
|Technical Director||James Key *|
|Engineering director||Pat Fry|
|Team Manager||Paul James|
|Managing Director||Andreas Seidl *|
|Chief Operations Officer||Jonathan Neale|
|Chief Operating Officer||Simon Roberts|
|Chief engineer||Peter Prodromou|
|*start dates not confirmed|
How will the McLaren management be structured
While Seidl will report directly to chief executive Brown, the heads of three departments - essentially encompassing the design, build and operation of McLaren's F1 cars - will report into Seidl.
Key, supported by a team including aerodynamics chief Peter Prodromou, will be in charge of the design unit, while Roberts will oversee production and Paul James will govern the race team's track operations.
De Ferran, meanwhile, will continue to be involved in the overall running of McLaren F1's team. But Seidl's appointment will enable De Ferran to devote more time to McLaren's motorsport activities outside of F1, which will include in 2019 a return to the Indy 500 as the team continue to evaluate a potential full-time IndyCar entry.
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