Seidl the right man to lead McLaren turnaround

The nine-time grand prix winner and Seidl have a history that dates back to Webber’s first season with Williams, when Seidl was an up-and-coming engineer working for BMW.

They then worked together again at Porsche when Webber stepped back from F1 and joined Porsche’s LMP1 programme.

Based on that experience, Webber is confident that Seidl is the man for the job at the struggling McLaren outfit.

He reckons Seidl was a driving force in Porsche’s sportscar success, and says he was unsurprised to see him take a more challenging role rather than joining an in-form team.

“If there’s any man for the job…” Webber told “He’s going to give it a red hot go. He’s an absolute workaholic, very, very, very sharp on the technical side, and great with people.

“He’s certainly one of the best I’ve worked with. Andreas and I, we’ve known each other since 2005. He was my engine engineer at Williams, at BMW. He was always going places.

“He’s dead excited [about the McLaren move], he’s really excited about it. But he knows he’s got a task ahead. He’s had some snapshots of Formula 1 with Sauber BMW.

“He was instrumental in our success with the 919. Not just him, it was a big team, but he definitely turbocharged the results.

“He’s always wanted to get back into F1. And I don’t think it was his only phone call from the paddock, to be honest.

“I think he sees it as a tremendous opportunity to make a big difference.”

Even with Seidl at the helm, Webber isn’t expected to see an immediate turnaround for McLaren.

He says getting back to the top of F1 “will take time” for the once legendary team, and that a renewed focus on grand prix racing will be key to making it happen.

“For a lot of Ron [Dennis’] faults, that’s when they were at their best,” said Webber. “When they were at their most harmonious, with the commercial model in place – you get your drivers and off you go.

“McLaren were a beast. Then they wanted to do road cars, then it’s like ‘what are we doing here?’ Then it’s a bit of IndyCar, a bit of… you can’t do everything.

“It’s that laser focus. Every team that’s been successful in Formula 1, they’ve been focussing on one thing and recruiting well.”

Andreas Seidl, Porsche Team, Team Principal, Mark Webber, Porsche Team

Photo by: Porsche AG

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