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McLaren CEO Jost Capito set to leave the Formula 1 team

McLaren Racing CEO Jost Capito is set to depart the team, Autosport understands

While Capito, 58, currently remains a McLaren employee, he is no longer working day-to-day for the company.

The former director of motorsport for Volkswagen Group was announced in his McLaren role in January this year, joining the team on September 1.

He was appointed by McLaren's outgoing chairman and CEO Ron Dennis, but since Dennis was placed on 'gardening leave', pending the expiration of his current contract on January 15 2017, Capito's position was regarded as vulnerable, in some quarters.

Despite Capito's strong motorsport background, with a CV that includes guiding VW to world rally titles in both drivers' and manufacturers' championships for the past four consecutive seasons, some viewed his appointment as duplication of a role already occupied by racing director Eric Boullier.

McLaren would make no comment on Capito's position when approached by Autosport.

In a separate development the position of Ekrem Sami as a director of McLaren Technology Group was terminated on November 29.

Sami, 62, has been a close ally of Dennis for almost 40 years, since working as his personal assistant at Project Four Racing - the company that merged with McLaren in 1980.

In the ensuing decades Sami was responsible for leading McLaren's commercial charge and the development of many of the team's long-term partnerships with sponsors.

Sami's place on the McLaren Technology Group board has been taken by John Riches, a partner at London law firm, Withers, but Autosport understands that Sami remains in position as managing director of McLaren Marketing.

Riches' company biography describes him as an expert in wealth management and an industry award winner in his field.

It adds: "John is listed in both the Citywealth 2010 Leading Lawyers List Top 20 and Top 20 Men in Private Wealth Management and was recently voted by his peers as the leading private client lawyer in London."

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