Volkswagen's WRC commitment will speed up McLaren move, says Capito

Volkswagen re-confirming its commitment to the World Rally Championship until 2019 will speed up Jost Capito's departure for the McLaren Formula 1 team

Volkswagen's WRC commitment will speed up McLaren move, says Capito

Capito was revealed as McLaren's new chief executive officer in January, but with the caveat that he would not be making the switch from his current job as VW's director of motorsport until the dominant WRC team had secured a successor.

ANALYSIS: What Capito can bring to McLaren

There had been question marks over VW's WRC programme in the wake of the emissions scandal involving the company's road cars - with sister brands Audi and Porsche having had to trim their Le Mans 24 Hours line-ups as a result.

VW's new board line-up recently rubberstamped its WRC commitment for a further three years, and Capito says that will accelerate his McLaren move.

"The meeting in Wolfsburg and this confirmation coming from the meeting was the basis to talk about the successor," Capito told Autosport.

"When you know it's an approved programme then it's a totally different story."

Watching pre-season F1 testing from afar left Capito more excited than ever to start his new role at McLaren.

"It's difficult," Capito said.

"Of course, this job [at VW] is great - but if I had wanted to stay here then I would not have signed a contract [with McLaren].

"And when I see what's going on, I would love to give my input quickly.

"We are working closely with McLaren and Volkswagen to find the proper solution that everybody is happy with. It's a very good atmosphere around this."

He was encouraged by the amount of mileage the McLaren-Hondas covered in Barcelona testing compared to the team's troubled 2015 pre-season.

"I think there's still a lot to do and it's good; for sure there's a step from last year," Capito said.

"There are so many more laps than last season and the reliability is the first thing you have to solve.

"If you are driving then you can improve performance, but if you are not making laps then you cannot improve.

"There's no doubt Honda and McLaren did a great job over the winter, now it has to get the full package really properly run together.

"I have not had any input to McLaren; first you need to understand. I am in touch with these guys, they sent me some stuff and told me what's going on and what's happening."

VW board member Frank Welsch has also reiterated that Capito's departure was not linked to the emissions crisis.

"Let me stress, Jost is not leaving for any reason other than the fact he has been so successful," said Welsch.

"It's his success that has opened the door for him for a fresh challenge, and we are proud of that.

"Sooner or later, there will be a new Capito."

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