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McLaren confirms Jost Capito departure after five months

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McLaren has confirmed that racing CEO Jost Capito has left his role after five months.

Capito previously worked as Volkswagen’s motorsport director, leading the German marque to a string of World Rally Championship titles before completing his move to McLaren last summer.

Capito had been due to work under group CEO Ron Dennis, only for Dennis to resign from his role following a boardroom struggle at the end of last year.

Dennis’ departure put Capito’s future in doubt, and despite attempts to hold talks regarding future plans for the racing operation, McLaren confirmed on Tuesday that he had left the team.

“Jost Capito joined McLaren after four successful years at VW Motorsport, with a strong commitment to bringing success back to McLaren,” a spokesperson from McLaren said.

“He wanted to build again a winning team and fully focus on making the McLaren Formula 1 car competitive, with the aim of winning world championships in coming years.

“Regrettably, we have not been able to find common ground with Jost with regard to what is and will be needed to make the team successful again.

“As a result, we have agreed that he will leave McLaren Racing and will now consider other opportunities. We wish him success in his future endeavors.”

Capito’s departure is the latest change at Woking as McLaren continues to restructure its management.

Besides Dennis’ exit, American commercial expert Zak Brown joined the team in the role of executive director last December, tasked with turning the team’s fortunes around after almost a decade without a world title.

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.