Volkswagen Motorsport boss Capito moves to McLaren F1 team
Capito leaves three consecutive WRC victories to take on McLaren's ailing F1 outfit
Volkswagen has announced that its director of motorsport, Jost Capito, is to leave the company ‘by mutual agreement’.
Capito will exit when Volkswagen Motorsport GmbH is able to find a successor. It will mark the end of several years of success for the Volkswagen brand’s motorsport arm since his appointment in May 2012.
Capito, 57, began at the Volkswagen Group in 1989, joining as an engineering graduate and going on to work in Porsche’s racing department.
Since then, he’s worked with the Sauber Formula 1 team from 1996, before moving to Ford in 2001. There he was responsible for the brand’s motorsport activities, as well as overseeing the brand’s performance road cars – including the second-generation Focus RS.
After his appointment at Volkswagen, Capito was at the helm when Volkswagen Motorsport took consecutive WRC titles in 2013, 2014 and 2015 – something VW road car development board member, Frank Welsch, describes as ‘the greatest sporting achievements in the history of the Volkswagen brand’.
‘We would like to thank Jost Capito for his exceptionally dedicated and successful work for Volkswagen in motorsport,’ added Welsch.
We haven’t had to wait long to find out where Capito is headed: Almost simultaneously with VW’s announcement that Capito would depart, McLaren Racing confirmed that the German would become Chief Executive Officer, working alongside new Chief Operating Officer and acting CEO, Jonathan Neale. The two will be supported by Eric Boullier.
Ron Dennis, Executive Chairman, 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, encompassing senior positions at BMW, Porsche, Ford, Sauber and, since 2012, Volkswagen.’
Dennis describes Capito as ‘infectiously passionate’, praising his experience in the WRC, sports cars, touring cars, motorcycle racing and F1.