McLaren CEO credits Seidl with F1 team’s turnaround

Andreas Seidl (middle) with Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo

McLaren’s Zak Brown has credited the team’s Formula 1 turnaround to the appointment of team principal Andreas Seidl.

Seidl oversees the squad’s F1 operation, having previously enjoyed success at the helm of Porsche’s World Endurance Championship squad.

He joined McLaren in May 2019, a year in which the Woking-based team finished fourth in the constructors’ championship with a total of 145 points from 21 races (6.9pts/race).

Under Seidl’s leadership that became third in the constructors’ title in 2020 with 202 points at a rate of 11.9 pts/race.

It’s a trend that has continued into the current campaign, with an average of almost 15 pts/race across the 17 races thus far.

By contrast, in 2018, the last full season prior to Seidl’s arrival, McLaren scored 62 points across 21 races, an average of just 2.9pts/race.

“I think it starts with your people,” Brown said when asked why McLaren’s form has turned around in recent seasons.

“Andreas and his team have done an outstanding job.

“My role is to get the best people in the business, [and I] think I’ve done that starting with Andreas, and then give them the right resources, and freedom, and trust to let them do what they do best.

“That’s exactly the relationship between Andreas and I; he runs the racing team, he has full autonomy to run the race team as he sees fit, and I’m here to support him in any way that he needs support.”

It’s an approach Brown has also adopted with McLaren’s IndyCar programme, headed by Taylor Kiel.

McLaren SP driver Pato O’Ward finished third behind Alex Palou and Josef Newgarden in the 2021 title race.

It’s a result that all-but matched the squad’s 2020 effort and comes ahead of additional investment Stateside in the operation.

“They’re great leaders in their respective racing teams,” Brown said of Seidl and Kiel.

“I think they take the same, similar philosophy; Andreas gets the best people he can, gives them great leadership, then he trusts and empowers them to fulfil their role.

“Motor racing’s much of a momentum game and we now have momentum, going from strength to strength.

“[We’re] Still making mistakes and having bad weekends but we go away and we try and learn from that just constantly trying to be improving.”

McLaren currently holds a slender 3.5-point advantage over the resurgent Ferrari operation in the F1 constructors’ championship with five rounds remaining.

The next of those is the Mexico City Grand Prix, opening practice for which gets underway at 04:30 AEDT on Saturday morning.

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