Andreas Seidl will step down as McLaren team principal to lead Audi’s fledgling Formula One program at the Alfa Romeo/Sauber team.
Andrea Stella, McLaren’s executive racing director since 2019, will take over for the 46-year-old German.
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Stella was described as “highly talented, experienced, and respected” by McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown.
Stella takes on his new role right away. Seidl will begin work at Sauber in January.
Seidl’s role as CEO will be to gradually improve the team’s performance so that Audi can make its debut in the best possible shape when the new engine regulations kick in.
According to industry sources, he will oversee the entire Audi F1 programme, including both the car and the engine, and will eventually appoint a team principal to run day-to-day operations and report to him. Frederic Vasseur, the current Alfa Romeo/Sauber team principal, is joining Ferrari.
Insiders say Seidl was approached by Ferrari as a potential replacement for Mattia Binotto, but he preferred to take a position at Audi.
Seidl’s new position sees him return to a senior motorsport position within the Volkswagen Group, having previously led Porsche’s successful endurance racing program before joining McLaren.
Between 2006 and 2009, he worked as an engineer for the Sauber team, which was owned by BMW.
“This is a team with a rich history in Formula One and an organization I know very well from my time working and living in Hinwil for four years,” Seidl said.
Lando Norris who joined McLaren in 2019, tweeted it had been “mega” to work with Seidl and added: “I’ve never seen our team looking as strong as it is now and some of that is credit to the work you’ve done.”
Audi announced in October that it would acquire Sauber for its F1 debut in 2026.
The Swiss-based team’s final year racing under the Alfa Romeo brand, which has provided financial support since 2018, will be in 2023.
As it prepares for Audi’s official entry, the team will race as Sauber in 2024 and 2025, using Ferrari engines.
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From 2015 to 2017, Seidl led Porsche to three consecutive Le Mans 24 Hours victories, as well as the World Endurance Championship drivers’ and constructors’ titles, before joining McLaren after Porsche ended the program.
He has played a key role in McLaren’s comeback from an all-time low at the end of 2018, when they finished the season with the slowest car on the grid.