Former Porsche World Endurance Championship boss Andreas Seidl has been named managing director of McLaren’s Formula 1 team.
Seidl had been the team principal of the Porsche LMP1 team until it withdrew from the category at the end of 2017, and has F1 experience as head of track operations at BMW Sauber until 2009. The German is highly regarded following the success of the Porsche LMP1 project, and will oversee all aspects of McLaren’s F1 racing program, reporting to McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown.
“We are delighted that Andreas is joining McLaren to lead our F1 technical and operational program,” Brown 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 program 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 will focus solely on F1, with Brown responsible for all of McLaren’s racing activities including its IndyCar team — headed up by Bob Fernley — that will return to the Indy 500 this year.
46-year-old Seidl is the latest addition as a result of senior management changes within the F1 team — with James Key set to join as technical director later this year — and says the personnel are in place to move McLaren closer to the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.
“This is an enormous privilege and challenge, which I am ready for and committed to,” Seidl said. “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) and Lando (Norris).”
At present there is no official start date given for Seidl, with McLaren only saying he will join the team “during 2019.”