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Capito returns to Volkswagen after brief McLaren stint

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Volkswagen has announced the return of Jost Capito to the company in the role of managing director following a brief stint with McLaren.

Capito headed up Volkswagen’s motorsport for four years, overseeing its domination of the World Rally Championship before joining up with McLaren as racing CEO 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. McLaren confirmed in February that Capito would also be leaving the team after five months.

Volkswagen has now confirmed that Capito has rejoined the company in a senior management role.

“With effect from June 1, 2017, Jost Capito is to be Managing Director of Volkswagen R GmbH and Volkswagen Zubehör GmbH,” a statement from Volkswagen reads.

“Volkswagen R GmbH is the competence center for design- and performance-oriented products of the Volkswagen brand. Volkswagen Zubehör GmbH develops and markets vehicle accessories throughout the world.

“Jost Capito succeeds Ulrich Riestenpatt gt. Richter, who had been managing director since 2009. Mr. Riestenpatt gt. Richter had already become the Plant Manager at Osnabrück as Speaker of the Management Board and Managing Director, Technical, of Volkswagen Osnabrück GmbH in October 2016 in parallel to his other responsibilities.”

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.