McLaren has announced a change of management within its F1 team ahead of the 2016 Formula 1 World Championship season, with Jost Capito joining from VW Motorsport as Chief Executive Officer.
The well respected German has worked with the likes of Sauber F1, Porsche, BMW and Ford during his career, but has most recently enjoyed considerable success as the driving force behind Volkswagen's dominant World Rally Championship effort, which has yielded three consecutive titles since 2013.
However, just as VW is preparing to defend its title once more, Capito will be exiting the manufacturer in favour of a senior role within the McLaren Racing set up. He will take the position of Chief Executive Officer in place of Jonathan Neale, who will become Chief Operating Officer of the McLaren Technology Group.
Ron Dennis retains overall control as CEO of the McLaren Group – with Capito and Neale continuing to report to him -, while Eric Boullier will continue in his position as Racing Director.
As it stands, Capito's starting date has not been determined as he sees out his current contract, but Dennis believes his acquisition will be a positive influence on the team, which suffered its worst F1 season since 1980 last year.
“Consistent with McLaren Technology Group's strategy of driving continuous growth, Jonathan has been promoted to the position of COO. He has done an excellent job as acting CEO of McLaren Racing – and that experience, together with the expertise he has attained in non-motorsport industry positions previously, makes him ideally suited to such an important new role at McLaren Technology Group.
“I first approached Jost last summer. 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 1, 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.”