McLaren CEO Zak Brown says Andreas Seidl had already informed the team of his intention to leave after 2025, with his exit fast-tracked amid the team boss merry-go-round.
Seidl joined McLaren as its Formula 1 Team Principal in 2019 and was under contract at the team through the 2025 season.
But on Tuesday it was announced that Seidl has left the team and will take up a role as Sauber’s CEO effective January.
The news came in the aftermath of current Sauber CEO Frederic Vasseur being announced as the new Team Principal of Ferrari, in place of Mattia Binotto.
“Andreas, who did an excellent job here at McLaren for the last handful of seasons, in a very transparent manner, informed me during the season that he was going to go elsewhere when his contract was up at the end of 2025,” Brown said during a media call.
“It’s probably pretty clear where that destination would be, which was quite understandable, given his background.
“At that time we intended to continue for the foreseeable future because the relationship is very healthy and his work discipline is very strong.
“What we were going to do, at the end of the season, was let the world know that change would come at the end of the ’25 season.
“In the fast-pace of the Formula 1 environment, when it became clear that Fred was going to go to Ferrari, [Sauber owner] Finn Rausing, who is someone that I’ve known for a decade and get along with very well, gave me a call to see if there was a discussion to be had to potentially release Andreas early.
“I think it puts everyone in their permanent homes for the foreseeable future.”
Brown said there was never any notion of preventing Seidl from taking up his new role with Sauber at the earliest opportunity.
“I know a lot of teams play the gardening leave card,” said Brown.
“But I think as we’ve demonstrated at McLaren, there are ways to dissolve a relationship, whether that’s with racing drivers, or employees, where you can do things on very workable terms for everyone.”
I now have great hope for Audi in F1 with Seidl in charge, and am also confident McLaren will go backwards even further. I just wonder how much longer Brown’s corrupt way of running McLaren can continue, and what his end game is. Purposely devaluing the company so he can someday buy it for pennies on the dollar, or is simply the worst business man ever? He’s pretty much sold anything of value that once belonged to McLaren, so it can’t be worth that much these days.