Porsche’s Andreas Seidl is new McLaren F1 chief

Following Andreas Seidl’s departure from Weissach in September 2018, McLaren F1 has announced that the former head of Porsche’s LMP1 programme is the new managing director of its Formula One racing team.

About Andreas Seidl

Born on January 6, 1976 on the banks of the Danube in Passau, Lower Bavaria, father-of-two Seidl built his early career with BMW Motorsport. He went on to run the test and operations department at the BMW Sauber Formula One team and later served as Head of Race Operations when BMW left F1 and returned to DTM in 2012. BMW’s DTM team claimed the manufacturer’s title on its first year back.

In 2013, Seidl’s friend and Porsche motorsport boss, Fritz Enzinger, signed him up for Porsche’s LMP1 squad. Coming on board as Director of Race Operations, he was made Team Principal in 2014. The Porsche 919 LMP1 Hybrid claimed the first of its three Le Mans wins the following year.

Co-workers point to Seidl’s love of “what-if” planning as an essential component in his approach: a distaste for snap reactions to the unexpected means he develops strategies to account for all imaginable scenarios before a race wheel is turned. “Andreas is like a chess player,” says Enzinger. “He’s a tactician who runs through every possible move with the team in advance in order to be able to respond in a flash.”

The HR doors were fairly one-way at McLaren F1 last year, with drivers, designers and trackside bosses all saying goodbye by the end of the season. This year, McLaren F1 brings in top designer, James Key, drivers Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris and now an ex-Porsche man, too. Whether Seidl’s management will pull the team together and lift McLaren out of its doldrums remains to be seen, but his track record is unquestionable. Friends of the blog at McLaren F1 are excited to learn how the Bavarian works once his gardening leave expires.

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

F1 2019 kicks off next month with two four-day tests at Barcelona on February 18 – 21 and Feb 26 – March 1. I have talked little brother into a first test trip, so I hope the weather’s better than last year.

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