McLaren hire WRC-dominating Volkswagen chief Capito


McLaren F1 have appointed Jost Capito as their new chief executive officer as part of a reshuffle that sees Jonathan Neale move out of the racing department.

Capito is currently Volkswagen's director of motorsport and has been influential in the team's domination of the World Rally Championship in recent years.

Neale had been fulfilling the role of CEO since Martin Whitmarsh's sacking in 2014, but he will now serve as chief operating officer of the McLaren Technology Group.

A starting date for Capito's role will be announced in due course once an agreement has been reached between McLaren and Volkswagen.

Both Capito and Neale will report directly to McLaren chairman Ron Dennis.

"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," Dennis said via a McLaren statement.

"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."

McLaren struggled with reliability issues throughout the 2015 season largely due to problems with their Honda engine.

Despite having former world champions Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button in their driver line-up, Alonso's fifth place in Hungary was McLaren's best result in 2015.