When Eric Boullier was ushered to the curb in front of the McLaren offices in Woking, I expected that if I’m honest. When they brought Gil de Ferran in as sporting director, I wasn’t quite sure that this legacy Indycar knowledge was going to be enough to turn everything around.
Then McLaren boss, Zak Brown, lured James Key away from Toro Rosso and I thought, “now things are getting serious over at Macca”. It didn’t stop there.
McLaren moved Andrea Stella (former Ferrari man) into the performance director role and brought in Andreas Seidl as the team boss. Seidl was instrumental in Porsche’s LMP1 success in the World Endurance Championship at Le Mans as well as BMW’s DTM efforts in 2012. He knows how to race and is a technical person. He’s a great addition to McLaren. If you’re a McLaren fan, you should be very excited about the changes.
Seidl hasn’t been on the job long and there’s a lot to measure and take in. In an interview with Motorsport.com, he said:
“For sure I can use the experiences I have made in different categories,” said Seidl.
“I think the fundamental points that you need to have in place in order to have a successful organisation are the same, it doesn’t matter if it is a GT racing programme, an LMP programme or F1.
“Overall, the projects I have been involved in the past, they were also works programmes. Big programmes with big budgets. So I am convinced I can bring a lot of experience towards McLaren and apply them.
“At the same time, it is also important to take my time now and respect what is in place. There are a lot of good things. People are committed, there is a lot of talent.”
It is an interesting point about Seidl as Brown said this about his appointment and if there were any other major changes coming.
“He is very clear in his direction and, as you know from where we have been, where maybe there have been too many chefs in the kitchen so to speak, now we have got one.
“From my leadership standpoint I’m done,” said Brown. “I’ve got what I want and am very pleased with.
“I landed everyone I wanted to land, I don’t feel like I got second-best in any of the areas.”
The reason I find this interesting is a few years ago, teams moved away from the single team boss concept. McLaren did that, Mercedes did it, Ferrari did not. Most teams were looking at a multiple-person strategy to the running of the team and while that may still be the concept many believe works best, in the end, too many cooks in the kitchen is an issue and Brown admits that Seidl is the head chef. That’s how former owner Ron Dennis saw the role too.
Hat Tip: Motorsport