Andreas Seidl, McLaren Team Principal, Monza, 2022

Seidl leaves McLaren for Sauber, Stella takes his place

2023 F1 season

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Andreas Seidl has departed his role as McLaren team principal head up the Sauber Group as its new CEO.

McLaren has promoted its executive director of racing Andrea Stella in Seidl’s place.

It marks the end of a four-year spell at McLaren for Seidl, who joined at the start of 2019 after leading Porsche to success in the World Endurance Championship.

Seidl’s new role at Sauber comes after its team principal Frederic Vasseur was hired by Ferrari to replace Mattia Binotto. Sauber is the operating company behind Alfa Romeo’s F1 entry, and is now seeking a new team principal as that was one of the roles Vasseur also filled in addition to being Sauber’s managing director and CEO.

Sauber will continue to compete as Alfa Romeo for a final season in 2023. It will become Audi’s works team in 2026.

Seidl said the team has “a rich history in Formula 1 and [is] an organisation I know really well from my time working and living in Hinwil for four years. I can’t wait to join the team and work with all the colleagues at the Sauber Group on the ambitious goals we have set together.”

Sauber’s appointment was praised by Audi. “We welcome our future partner’s choice,” said Audi chief technical officer Oliver Hoffmann. “Andreas Seidl has extensive experience in leadership roles across
motorsport programs on both the manufacturer and Formula 1 team side. His track record in
motorsport is impressive.”

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown hired Seidl to reorganise the team following its unsuccessful 2018 campaign. Under his leadership they rose to third in the constructors’ standings in 2020.

The team has slipped back in recent seasons following its switch from Renault to Mercedes engines. However it ended a nine-year winless run with a one-two finish in the 2021 Italian Grand Prix at Monza. This year McLaren came fifth in the points table, and only scored one podium all season.

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“I joined McLaren in 2019 and have really enjoyed working with Zak and the team,” said Seidl.

Stella will take over from Seidl at McLaren
“We have achieved some good results, and I will always have fond memories, with Monza being a personal and career highlight. The team is on a great trajectory, and I would like to thank everyone for their support, trust and commitment.

“Thanks to Zak and the shareholders for their understanding of my personal decision to move on to another challenge. I wish Andrea and the team all the best for the future.”

“I’ve really enjoyed working with Andreas,” McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown added.

“He has provided great leadership for the team and has played a significant part in our F1 performance recovery plan and ongoing journey to return to the front of the grid. I thank him for the transparency throughout the process which gave us time to plan accordingly.”

McLaren now have a vacancy in the position of executive director of racing, as Stella is being promoted from that role to be team principal. He is a former Ferrari man who joined McLaren in 2015 as head of race operations, then became performance director in 2018 and executive director of racing a year later. He moves into the team principal position with immediate effect.

“I feel privileged to take on the team principal role as the next stage of being part of the McLaren F1 team,” Stella said.

“I am grateful to Zak and the shareholders for their trust in me and to all my colleagues and those who have supported me throughout my F1 career. We are realistic about the amount of work ahead of us to move back up the grid, but I am excited and encouraged that I am in this journey together with a team full of talent, experience, racing spirit and dedication.”

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Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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20 comments on “Seidl leaves McLaren for Sauber, Stella takes his place”

  1. CEOs saga is not less entertaining than the drivers saga.

    1. I suppose most fans these days enjoy the soappy part of F1 more than what used to be important in the olden days, the racing. Many will have opinions about CEO’s and other staff and how good they are at their jobs, but I don’t think I have any means to measure their value and skill and what they add to their teams as individuals, so I don’t really bother to understand inner team dynamics. Some characters appear more or less likable than the others and that’s it. Seidl seems like a decent person and that’s all I can really say. Now I’ll be seeing his face in a different garage, and I’ll hear him talking about different drivers and cars and that’s kinda it for me and how much this affects or entertains me.
      But I get what you mean, especially after that Netfix documentary team bosses are becoming the stars of F1.

  2. A tad surprised I must confess.

    1. To complete the bizarre events, we just need Seidl to sign Danny Ric at Sauber.

      1. +1 Exactly what I was thinking!!!
        If PER is helping RBR sell tons of product in Central Americas/US, Sauber, if ZHO is doing OK, may well retain him for the very important Audi market in PRC

      2. Or, perhaps for Zak to sign DR as the new team principal…

  3. It’s a step up for him in terms of role. Gutsy move to take it on. Best of luck to him… He’s done fairly well at Mclaren considering he came in after a long stint in WEC

    1. Also a pretty good match for Audi who will be aiming to go much the same path of building up a back of the mid field team towards a front runner, exactly what Seidl has been part of at McLaren for the last few years @todfod.

      And he’s well informed of the internal structures at VW / Audi to be able to fit into the role.

      1. @bascb I’m convinced this is an Audi appointment. And a good one at that.

        1. Certainly, yeah

    2. @todfod How so? McLaren has made basically no progress throughout his tenure. They’ve actually dropped one spot every full season under Seidl’s leadership from being 3rd in 2020, 4th in 2021 to 5th in 2022. They’ve also pushed one of their previously highly-regarded drivers into effective retirement because the cars they make are so unstable and hard to drive. Even if one accepts the Mercedes engine they have is no longer the class of the field, they’re still miles behind the main Mercedes team which obviously uses the same engine.

      1. Indeed, mclaren seemed to be on the way up, but now have dropped back again, there’s very far from saying they will be able to challenge the big 3 and actually managing to do that.

      2. They lucked in to the P3 in 2020 because of Ferrari’s cheat engine effect.

        Realistically, Mclaren could only max out at P4 with him. He managed that in 2021, along with their first win in 8 years. I agree that the 2022 rules caught them off guard, but they still managed to maximise a lot of opportunities to finish P5. They really looked solid in track operations and strategy… Easily a few leagues above a team like Ferrari. They managed to take the fight to Mclaren despite not having the performance from the car and from one driver in their team.

        Can’t blame Seidl for Ricciardo’s shortcomings, he’s got to take the blame on himself for that one.

        I don’t think Seidl did a mega job, but he did a good enough job considering he was returning to the sport, in a new role of team principal, after being in WEC for so long.

        1. take the fight to *Alpine

  4. I am fairly surprised by this Silly CEO Season – and what I am wondering the most is what kind of contracts they have.. because I wouldn’t be surprised if someone like Seidl (with his background) has a thorough understanding of the development and designs of the McLaren car – can’t imagine that McLaren or any other team would be very happy seeing the knowledge fall in another teams hands.

  5. Surprising moves

  6. I am very happy for this move. Very unexpected since apparently Ferrari tried to get him. Be it engineered by Audi or not i don’t know, but for sure I am happy that Sauber didn’t end up with Binotto!

  7. While I find it very surprising, I think the lack of progress in the last 2 years, shows there is more change needed at McLaren to get back to the very top and it maybe that Seidl doesn’t see it happening with the current team. Big move needed by Zac now or his head is on the chopping block if they can’t break into the top 3 in the next couple of years imo.

    1. Indeed, they’ve been midfielders long enough, at some point you just know it’s never gonna work.

  8. Sooooo….no Sauber in 2024 or 2025?

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