Andreas Seidl’s McLaren exit is bad news for Lando Norris : PlanetF1

Martin Brundle believes Andreas Seidl’s departure from McLaren cannot be interpreted as good news for Lando Norris, whose long-term future rests with the team.

The McLaren team principal left to become Sauber chief executive earlier in the week, in a day of what has become something of a senior management team carousel, with Fred Vasseur taking over as Ferrari manager and race director Andrea Stella being promoted to take on Seidl’s role at McLaren.

Seidl will not take on the team principal role at Alfa Romeo next season, but his move is seen as a longer-term vision to oversee Audi’s arrival when they complete their majority takeover of Sauber. in time for 2026, having already spent four years with the team earlier in his career.

Former Formula 1 driver Brundle knows the move makes sense for the former McLaren team boss, but it won’t do the team much good.

“There is no doubt about it, losing Seidl is bad news for McLaren going forward,” Brundle told Sky Sports.

“He has a long-term relationship with the Volkswagen Group with Porsche, so I can understand what he’s done and I can understand why McLaren wanted to speed this up.

“But that’s not what they needed.”

Norris signed a new long-term contract with McLaren earlier in the year to take him far into the future with his current team, despite having won several podiums, he recognized only one top three in 2022 wasn’t enough for him or the team as they look to take the next step forward.

Norris will be the team’s new “senior” driver as rookie Oscar Piastri joins him next season, with the McLaren duo set to be the youngest on the grid in 2023.

But going forward, Brundle expressed concerns that Norris might worry about how Seidl’s head has been turned by another team, especially with their own infrastructure being improved for the future. .

“The big thing for McLaren is their new wind tunnel in 2024,” Brundle said.

“So Lando will look at him thinking, ‘why did Andreas jump ship? What did Andreas see at Audi, which he much prefers to McLaren?

“Oscar will also be disappointed because he would have done all the talking, all the imaginings, with Andreas, for Oscar to join and Lando to stay.

“Lando is very close to Zak [Brown, CEO] and he is doing a great job there, there is a good structure at McLaren. I’m not freaking out for them in the least, but you can’t read this as good news.

Should Lando Norris be worried about Andreas Seidl leaving?

Zak Brown has praised Seidl’s ability to lead a team in the past, and he should be commended in his own right for the way he handled what saw him leave the team on good terms.

Promoting from within and doing it quickly by putting Andrea Stella front and center is also a good indicator of the confidence Brown has in the personnel already in place in the team.

As with anyone having a change of boss at work, Norris is likely to have some concerns or anxiety about how things will play out for him next season, especially with Stella taking on such a role for the first time in his career – despite his good experience. in the Formula 1 paddock.

Brundle makes valid points about what Seidl sees at Audi that he may not see at McLarenespecially with the weight the brand is likely to bring to Formula 1 when it finally enters the sport.

But in the immediate future, Norris will be eager to see how the team performs in Seidl’s absence, but with a stable presence in place that he already knows at Stella, he seems to be the low-risk alternative from the point of view. view of McLaren, and stability will be key for them as they approach a crucial period in automotive development.

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