Capito departs VW, set to join McLaren

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McLaren are moving toward their new structure as Jost Capito announced that the German rally this weekend would be his last as VW’s motorsport boss. Reports suggest that there is no official start date for Capito in his new role at McLaren but he will be in attendance at Spa Francorchamps.

As teams like Mercedes and McLaren move toward a new management structure and Ferrari suggesting they may be interested in that arrangement as well, it’s probably no mystery that Formula 1 itself will move to a corporate structure eventually.

McLaren will be gaining a new CEO to add to Honda’s new motorsport boss and the timing could be right. Renault have leapt ahead of Honda in power unit performance and the raft of regulation changes for 2017 means that McLaren does need to make another serious move forward in comprehensive car performance from chassis to power unit to tire management etc.

A holistic approach is needed to their program that can discover new open pastures of innovation while driving costs down sans a big title sponsor. Capito will be walking into a team of very intelligent, capable people and his task will be to work with the team to gain seconds out of the 2017 car.

As a team progresses toward the sharp end of the grid, they are looking for one second or perhaps fourth tenths to win but that final second can take millions of dollars to achieve and McLaren are not close to that final second yet. Capito will have a tough job in front of him for sure and that’s not to mention the driver issue.


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Richard Piers

Golly gee Mr Negative think you wrote that one in a bit of a rush and used some words that I barely understand. Management has obviously changed drastically since i went out to pasture. Quite a few years age Time Life suggested that Ron Dennis was the best manager in GB. For all his “Ronspeak” and bad times I would suggest that may well still be the case. McLaren, effectively sidelined by a problem with Mercedes and a loss of internal design direction, had really 2 choices. Drift, as sadly is happening with Williams, or find a new friend. From… Read more »

Negative Camber

LOL…I have been using Pages by Apple lately and the auto-correct is horribly onerous in the way it works. You don’t even know it’s correcting. Kept changing Capito to Capitol. LOL…I was chasing that damned thing around this story more than I was writing a story.

Richard Piers

Hope you don’t mind me pulling your leg. As an old Brit I like to have a US perspective even if I don’t always agree with it. You know how we always have our wooden spoons ready for action.

Negative Camber

LOL…not at all, call me on it anytime, It’s not enough we butchered your language on how we speak it but add my bad spelling and we’ve really gone pear-shaped…as you might say. ;)


“For all his “Ronspeak” and bad times I would suggest that may well still be the case.”

I would love to hear your reasoning :) Could you elaborate preferably with some concrete examples?

Richard Piers

“Ronspeak” is a well known and not always easily understood way of expressing yourself.
Bad times I would have thought were self explanatory. McLaren went down a blind alley with their design and came up very short. Whitmarsh went as a consequence and along came Honda. So one bad season going nowhere then one disastrous season for both McLaren and Honda now the first signs of spring.
Good enough ?


Thank you for the reply. My emphasis was on “still be the case” (best manager). Should’ve clarified that better. To me it looks like a pattern bigger than 2 bad seasons: a. Correct me if I am wrong but McLaren hasn’t won a constructors’ championship since 1998 b. Total points scored for last 10 years and see how that compares to an established rival (Ferrari) and newcomers (Redbull and Mercedes) c. Departure from traditional sponsorship model as means of masking the inability to attract one to begin with If I didn’t know any better I would say this team is… Read more »

Richard Piers

We can bat this one backwards and forwards ad nauseam.
I did say “may”
Ron Dennis’s objectives have not always been precisely in line with everyone else’s.
He is a private company up against industry giants with generally larger budgets.
Not many people could go, off the back of a bad season, and persuade one of the biggest companies in the world to invest mega bucks in such a project. That, in itself, justifies much of my comment.
I’ve said my piece, finito.


“I did say “may” Yeah. It is probably best to leave it at that and have time ahead of us be the judge. (Assuming he was in charge of persuading) That in itself makes him a good salesman not a good manager. More or less so depending on who was conducting due diligence and negotiating on behalf of Honda. Add on: a. How desperate was Honda to enter the sport b. Were there realistically any other potential partners for Honda (besides mclaren) “He is a private company up against industry giants with generally larger budgets.” Surely a man as SMART… Read more »

Jonathan Lee E K

Well put.

Zachary Noepe

Jeez first they pick Boullier from the combined smoldering heaps of Renault and Lotus, two once mythic names he guided to bankruptcy and embarrassment, and now they ‘snap up’ the magic man from the aborted F1 dreams of the world’s most humiliated automaker. Watch out, Trump campaign, McLaren’s got its eyes on your key employees next!

Richard Piers

The VW rally team seem to be quite successful.
I don’t believe Capito had anything to do with the emission software issues. Not everyone in big companies is a rogue.
Boullier was team manager, or equivalent, and no doubt was working with a marginal budget and not responsible for the financial woes.
You need to point your accusatory finger at other targets.

Zachary Noepe

Perhaps, though the results of McLaren’s strategic moves seem to speak for themselves (and me).

Granted though, all this is cheeky, what the hell do either of us know about what goes on really.


I had a feeling something was up..if McLaren F1 was fully led by the Ron of old we would see and hear much more of him on race weekends, as he would grab the team by the scruff of the neck and have harsh, unintelligible language with it via systematic, anticipatory, team modality performance sessions.

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