McLaren has appointed former Porsche LMP1 chief Andreas Seidl to head up its F1 operation, as previously reported by Crash.net.

Seidl takes on the new role of managing director of the team for the upcoming 2019 season and will report directly to McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown, as the Woking squad looks to return to winning ways following its recent spell of struggles.

The German’s arrival follows a successful tenure overseeing Porsche’s World Endurance Championship programme and success at the 24 Hours of Le Mans before the manufacturer’s departure from the series.

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“This is an enormous privilege and challenge, which I am ready for and committed to,” said Seidl.

“To have an opportunity to contribute to the McLaren legacy is extremely special and inspiring.

“McLaren has the vision, leadership and experience but, most importantly, the people to return to the front, and that will be my absolute focus and mission.

“I can’t wait to join the team and begin working with my colleagues at McLaren, our partners at Renault and, of course, Carlos and Lando.”

McLaren acknowledged the move is its latest step in the team’s “recovery plan and restructure”, with new technical director James Key also set to join McLaren later in 2019, following on from the re-hiring of Pat Fry as engineering director. 

Seidl's signing marks the latest change to McLaren's F1 management structure, following Eric Boullier's resignation last summer amid a below-par start to the 2018 campaign.

Having switched to Renault engines following a disastrous spell powered by Honda at the start of F1’s V6 hybrid era, McLaren ultimately went on to improve to a sixth-place finish in last year’s constructors’ standings.

Other headline departures included chief technical officer Tim Goss and engineering director Matt Morris, with Seidl becoming McLaren's fourth new appointment since last July. 

It will also field a revised driver line-up of Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris in 2019 following the retirement of double world champion Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne’s departure due to poor results.

“We are delighted that Andreas is joining McLaren to lead our F1 technical and operational programme. This is a significant appointment for us on two fronts,” added Brown.

“First, it is another important step in our F1 performance recovery plan and long-term commitment to F1.

“Second, concentrated senior leadership on our F1 programme is an integral part of the long-term strategy of McLaren Racing to expand into other forms of global motorsport over time.

“Andreas is a highly capable leader with a track record of success in everything he has been involved with, and I look forward to working with him.”

McLaren has set a five-year target to return to a position capable of winning F1 world championships, with its last grand prix victory coming over six years ago at the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix. 

“I have just presented a five-year plan and within that plan, we think we have a journey to get back to winning races, and then once you’re winning races, you’re competing for the championship,” Brown said at the end of last year. 

“We have laid out a journey and investment, a road to recovery that sees us getting back to the front of the grid in that timeline."

 

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