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Jost Capito to leave Volkswagen for McLaren

VW’s director of motorsport is set to become CEO at the struggling British F1 team

It has been announced that Jost Capito – who lately has overseen VW’s three consecutive victories in the World Rally Championship – will move to McLaren to oversee its Formula One operation.

The 57-year-old joins the Woking outfit following a dreadful season in the sport, during which Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso collected just 27 points between them as Honda floundered with its hybrid engine.

Capito will replace McLaren’s Jonathan Neale, who moves to the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer at McLaren Technology Group. Neale has been acting as the team’s CEO ever since Ron Dennis ousted Martin Whitmarsh in 2014.

Confirming the appointment, Dennis said: “”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.

“From a motorsport perspective he has experience in not only the World Rally Championship but also sportscars, touring cars, motorcycle racing and Formula One, about which he is hugely knowledgeable and infectiously passionate.”

Capito does indeed have an impressive CV, having won the truck class of the Dakar Rally in 1985 prior to working as an engineer on BMW’s high-performance engines. He later spent time as the head of Porsche’s motorsport division, before a stint with Sauber in F1.

Capito then moved to Ford, where he was responsible for pushing through the MkI Focus RS, widely regarded as one of the best hot hatches of all time.

After a decade with the Blue Oval company, the German moved on to his current job at VW where his three WRC titles have been described as “the greatest sporting achievements in the history of the Volkswagen brand” by board member Frank Welsch.

“With his transparent and far-sighted leadership, Jost Capito has been instrumental in this success,” added Welsch.

The timings of Capito’s move are yet to be confirmed, but for McLaren he can’t arrive soon enough.

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