Ex-Porsche WEC boss Seidl joins McLaren F1 team as managing director

Jonathan Noble
Ex-Porsche WEC boss Seidl joins McLaren F1 team
Ex-Porsche WEC boss Seidl joins McLaren F1 team

McLaren has appointed former Porsche World Endurance Championship boss Andreas Seidl as its Formula 1 team's new managing director, in a move first predicted by Autosport.

Following a major shake-up at McLaren last season in the wake of a disappointing start to its first campaign with Renault power, CEO Zak Brown has lured Seidl away from Porsche.

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Seidl joins McLaren after overseeing three WEC drivers' and constructors' championship doubles in 2015-17, as well as Le Mans 24 Hours successes in all three years, before Porsche then withdrew from the series to focus on its impending Formula E move slated for '19/20.

The monster born out of Porsche's frustration

He had been due to take on a new role with overall control of motorsport at Porsche had he remained with the manufacturer.

Speaking about his move to McLaren, Seidl said: "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.

"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."

Seidl will be placed in charge of McLaren's F1 operations as Brown felt he could not manage the race team as well as McLaren's other extensive racing operations.

Reporting directly to Brown, Seidl will manage the three key heads of departments tasked with McLaren's revival.

Technical director James Key, who is set to join McLaren later this year, will be in charge of car design, Simon Roberts will have responsibility for car production and Paul James, team manager, will lead operations at the track.

Seidl's appointment will also allow sporting director Gil de Ferran more freedom to move into a role where he can help oversee McLaren's wider racing activities - including its assault on this year's Indianapolis 500 - rather than be devoted fully to F1.

Seidl is no stranger to F1, having previously made a name for himself working at BMW Sauber until 2009 before overseeing BMW's return to the DTM in '12.

McLaren CEO Zak Brown said Seidl's appointment was important.

"We are delighted that Andreas is joining McLaren to lead our F1 technical and operational programme," he said.

"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."

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