McLaren hires Volkswagen racing director Capito

2016 F1 season

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McLaren has hired Jost Capito to be the new chief executive officer of its racing arm.

The timing of Capito’s move will be announced later this year. He is currently in charge of Volkswagen’s racing operations.

Capito will work alongside Eric Boullier who remains McLaren’s racing director. The team has also announced acting McLaren Racing CEO Jonathan Neale has been made the chief operating officer of McLaren Technology Group.

CEO Ron Dennis said Capito was first approached in the middle of last year. “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 therefore delighted to welcome Jost to McLaren, and 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.”

Volkswagen said Capito will “leave the company by mutual agreement during the course of this year”.

“The three World Rally Championship titles with the Polo R WRC represent the greatest sporting achievements in the history of the Volkswagen brand and underscore the technical competence of our company,” said Volkswagen board member Frank Welsch. “With his transparent and far-sighted leadership, Jost Capito has been instrumental in this success.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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8 comments on “McLaren hires Volkswagen racing director Capito”

  1. Despite missing the chance in 2012 and ruining 2013 I still miss Whitmarsh. I liked him. Not keen on Boullier and now this new guy to replace Neale.

  2. if only it was Red Bull, then we could have started to get everyone’s hopes up for a Red Bull partnership with a certain manufacturer only for it to be crushed and destroyed in an instant

  3. All nice and great. Correctly McLaren needs to put in some new energy to get this ship turned around.

    On paper their situation looks like a dream.

    High funding, Strategy Group seat, works status with Honda largest engine maker in the world, pedigree second to none, two of the best drivers in recent history..

    Yet for some reason last 3 seasons now they cannot deliver anything like McLaren results.

    It must be a problem of people and energy in team. They cannot make excuses like Williams and Sauber about being underfunded or like Red Bull that nobody will give them an engine.

    If they want to win they will have to be the best team in F1. They need best people for that. Capito won more championships recently than entire McLaren team put together.

    If anything Ron Denis should play a more CEO role, they need energetic leaders to stomp some authority the way Toto Wolf does. Ron Denis is in what his 70’s? Despite his many abilities, being young isn’t one of them. And with all due respect, McLaren team could use some youth and new ways. Look at Mercedes team, they look on average 26, like an IT company.

    1. To be fair, 2013 was a design change mistake and 2014 was a serious lack of Mercedes support due to the planned change to Honda, and the team focusing on the 2015 Honda, while 2015 was, well, a disaster on all fronts, but mainly engine issues. So each year had a legit reason, and I count 2013 as the only truly bad season without a good excuse.

  4. Gotta say, just took a look at McLaren coorporate data. They are worth over 1bln, and profitable. For sure they will be up in the pack soon

    Their roadcar business is booming. P1 might be the first mass produced car never to loose value. But its not powered by a Honda.

  5. Very nice catch, I first heard of him after VW announced they were joining the WRC, and I saw an interview where he was very passionate but also level headed about the venture. They then went on to utterly wipe the floor with the competition. I think McLaren probably need a bit of outside influence at this point to get the enthusiasm levels up, and I can’t think of a better appointment.

  6. Great appointment by Ron. Lets hope he can start asap. Clearly Mclaren are building for 2017 onwards. This year is still a re-building year.

  7. According to McLaren, Capito will take up the position in due course as he will remain at VW until a replacement is secured.

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