Since being appointed as team principal back in May 2019, the 45-year-old German engineer Andreas Seidl played a major role in bringing McLaren back at the lead of the midfield battle.
Seidl was one of Brown’s first major appointments after he took control of the team. Former Porsche LMP1 chief is now approaching his third anniversary at the lead of the Woking-based F1 team and McLaren’s CEO Zak Brown admits he is greatly impressed by the performance of his team principal as the team continued their recent gains into 2021.
Last year McLaren finished third in the championship, their best result since 2012. With the switch of engine to Mercedes power units over the off-season, they have started 2021 in event better shape, scoring 41 points over the first two races of the new season – two more than last year – and have been closer to the leading terms in outright pace.
While Brown oversees McLaren’s Racing division, Seidl has day-to-day responsibility for running the F1 team. Brown said he is consistently impressed by the job Seidl is doing.
“It still impresses me how focused he is, how humble he is,” Brown told RaceFans in an exclusive interview. “He kind of lets the results speak for themself.
“He’s focused on creating the right team culture and empowers people. He delegates and he empowers his people".
Brown highlights the importance of giving the staff the freedom to do their job, something that Seidl does brilliantly.
“[Andreas] knows exactly what he wants, he sets clear goals and objectives for the individual people within his team. But he empowers them to do it and much as I do with him, he does with his people, he lets them make decisions and he only steps in if he really feels he needs to.”
“You’ve hired them to do a job, you can’t then be micromanaging them. You hire them to do a job and if they don’t, then you have a conversation. But you can’t get in there and meddle because then you frustrate them.
Brown believes he and the German make up the best duo for the team – they know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and complement each other.
“Andreas and I, we’ve got an outstanding working relationship. He knows my sandbox, I know his sandbox, and we work together brilliantly.”
Even their driver Lando Norris has noticed a steep improvement in the atmosphere inside the team since Seidl’s appointment.
“The past few years, in terms of how we work together as a team, the mentality, the spirit, has all been improving massively over the last few years,” said the 21-year-old driver.
“Performance in F1 isn’t just about how good your car is. There’s a lot of external factors which you need to be at the top level. It’s been on a good trajectory, improving massively. I think it’s as good as it’s been [now].”