Zak Brown reveals why McLaren aren’t playing ‘special card’ against Andreas Seidl

Andreas Seidl previously worked for Sauber for four years, whilst the team competed under the BMW Sauber name.

Despite Formula 1 having entered the winter break, a time when usually the sport begins to quieten down whilst the teams enjoy some much-deserved rest, nothing of the sort has happened so far since the season finale in Abu Dhabi.

This past week has been a relentless one in particular, with silly season continuing to grow ever sillier.

It was announced on Thursday that following Alfa Romeo team principal Frederic Vasseur moving to Ferrari to replace Mattia Binotto, McLaren boss Andreas Seidl would be returning to Sauber to take up one of Vasseur’s roles at the Hinwil-based side.

Whilst occupying the role of team boss at Alfa Romeo, Vasseur was also CEO of the Sauber Group, a position that Seidl was announced to have taken.

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This comes as a huge loss for the Woking-based side, with McLaren having improved massively under the German’s leadership.

His move back to Sauber will see Seidl reunited with a large number of colleagues, a number which will further increase once the Volkswagen Group merges with the Swiss company.

Audi, who are owned by the VW Group, are joining Formula 1 in 2026 through the Sauber team, after VW acquired a 75-percent stake in the outfit.

Seidl has worked for both Sauber and the VW Group before, making it understandable why he’s decided to return to his last two employers.

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He previously worked for Sauber for four years, whilst they competed in F1 under the BMW Sauber name.

Seidl’s most recent role prior to McLaren was for the VW Group, as he played a large role in Porsche’s successful stint competing in the LMP1 category in the World Endurance Championship.

Porsche too, are owned by the VW Group.

Interestingly, McLaren are allowing him to switch straight to Sauber without taking a typical six-month ‘gardening leave’, a request that is usually made to ensure that secrets aren’t exposed to a competitor.

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown revealed why they didn’t feel like it was necessary to make Seidl take a period of ‘gardening leave’, with the American having a “great relationship” with the departing German.

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“As far as gardening leave, [Andreas and I] have a great relationship,” Brown to reporters.

“I know a lot of teams play the gardening leave card, but I think as we’ve demonstrated at McLaren, there are ways to dissolve relationships.

“Whether that’s with racing drivers, or employees, you can do things on very workable terms for everyone.”