McLaren announce Jost Capito as new CEO

14 Jan 2016 14:23

McLaren have announced the signing of Jost Capito from Volkswagen Motorsport as their new Chief Executive Officer.

Capito replaces Jonathan Neale in a reshuffle at the British constructor which sees the latter lose his spot on the racing team.

Neale, who had been the team's acting CEO for the past two seasons, has been appointed Chief Operating Officer of the McLaren Technology Group with Eric Boullier, who signed from Lotus in 2014, remaining as the team's Racing Director.

Ron Dennis stays on as both the team's Executive Chairman and Chief Executive of the McLaren Group with Capito and Boullier reporting to him.

"I first approached Jost last summer," said Dennis in a McLaren statement released on Thursday.

"He is an extremely impressive, competitive and ambitious individual, who comes to us with a very wide range of automotive and motorsport experience, encompassing senior positions at BMW, Porsche, Ford, Sauber and, since 2012, Volkswagen, leading the latter company's World Rally Championship team to consecutive world titles in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

"From a motorsport perspective he has experience in not only the World Rally Championship but also Sports Cars, Touring Cars, Motorcycle Racing and Formula One, about which he is hugely knowledgeable and infectiously passionate.

"I am certain that he will work extremely well with Eric and all at McLaren Racing, building on the very good work they have already done to take the McLaren-Honda programme forward towards grand prix victories and world championship successes."

McLaren head into the 2016 Formula One season, which gets under way in Melbourne on March 20, following arguably the worst campaign of their long-standing history.

The Woking-based team acquired only 27 points as their renewed relationship with Japanese manufacturer Honda failed to deliver on their successes in the late 1980's and early 1990's which saw McLaren win four consecutive driver and constructors' championships.

Jenson Button will continue with the team to extend his stay in the sport into a 17th campaign, while team-mate Fernando Alonso insists he will be on the grid for the season opener after Dennis claimed the two-time champion may take a sabbatical.

Neale, who joined McLaren's race team in 2001, added: "After 15 years in senior roles within McLaren Racing, most recently as COO and acting CEO, I am excited to be moving up to take on a wider remit, working directly with Ron to assist his leadership of McLaren Technology Group.

"I have enjoyed my time at McLaren Racing, and will of course remain closely involved in supporting Jost's and Eric's efforts to optimise the future success of the McLaren-Honda programme."

Capito, 58, is currently in charge of Volkswagen's racing operations and the timings of his move to McLaren will be announced later in the year.