McLaren appoints Andreas Seidl to run F1 team

McLaren has appointed ex-Porsche boss Andreas Seidl to run its Formula 1 team as part of its bid to return to a competitive position.

Seidl oversaw Porsche’s successful LMP1 project in the World Endurance Championship and previously held roles with BMW, firstly with its Formula 1 programme prior to moving into DTM.

Seidl will join the team at a yet-to-be-determined date in 2019 and report to CEO Zak Brown, with all responsibilities for McLaren’s Formula 1 programme, taking on the official title of Managing Director.

“This is an enormous privilege and challenge, which I am ready for and committed to,” said Seidl.

“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.

“I can’t wait to join the team and begin working with my colleagues at McLaren, our partners at Renault and, of course, Carlos [Sainz Jr.] and Lando [Norris].”

Brown added: We are delighted that Andreas is joining McLaren to lead our F1 technical and operational programme. 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."

Seidl’s appointment is the latest restructure in a series of changes at McLaren across recent years.

Brown replaced Ron Dennis at the helm in late 2016 and last year took on the role of CEO, as part of an overhaul of McLaren’s organisational setup.

Racing Director Eric Boullier departed in the summer and was replaced by Gil de Ferran, who took on the role of Sporting Director.

McLaren is in the midst of one of its worst slumps in its Formula 1 history, having been given a wake-up call in 2018 after its switch from Honda to Renault power identified weaknesses within its operation.

It finished only sixth in the Constructors’ Championship, having struggled with its flawed MCL33, and has not taken a podium finish since 2014, with its last victory coming in 2012.

It enters 2019 with a refreshed driver line-up of ex-Toro Rosso and Renault racer Sainz Jr. and long-term protégé and Formula 2 runner-up Norris.

McLaren will also have a new Technical Director with James Key set to join at some stage in 2019 and oversee design of the 2020 car, with the Briton currently on gardening leave from Toro Rosso, in a move that was announced last summer.

Key's impending arrival comes in the wake of designers Tim Goss and Matt Morris both leaving their respective roles last year.