11 April 2018

Changes here and there

The news that Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Muller is to be replaced by Herbert Diess, who currently heads the VW division is an interesting development, as VW considers its future motorsport plans.

Some read this as being a sign that the company will not go to F1 because Diess is known as a costcutter, But this overlooks the fact that F1 is in the process of moving towards a cost cap, that will limit the costs of F1 and increase the money flowing to the competitors. It also forgets that such decisions are not made by the CEO on his own, but rather by the board, and even that depends on the amount of money involved as the different brands do what they want to do in terms of promotion unless it is beyond their budgets.

So it is not clear that the change will mean anything. Diess is a former BMW man and someone who is known as “a car guy”, so if an F1 programme makes sense, there is no reason to suggest he wouldn’t go with it.

Elsewhere, McLaren had tidied up its management structure, with Jonathan Neale becoming Chief Operating Officer of the McLaren Group. Zak Brown switching from Executive Director of the Group to the narrower role of CEO of McLaren Racing. Mike Flewitt continues as CEO of McLaren Automotive, while a new CEO for McLaren Applied Technologies is being recruited. Eric Boullier remains Racing Director but now reports to Brown, while John Allert remains Chief Marketing Officer.

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