McLaren COO Jonathan Neale leaves after 20 years with the team
McLaren COO and 20-year team member Jonathan Neale will be leaving later this year.
Neale joined the team in 2001, taking on the role of COO after working with Martin Whitmarsh at British Aerospace.
He remained in this position for four years before becoming Managing Director and ultimately holding that position for a decade.
While the team has gone through a number of changes since then, with a partnership forming with Honda and Ron Dennis leaving for the second time, Neale’s influence on the racing side has waned, he is became the COO of the McLaren group as a whole, not just the F1 team.
After five years of doing this job, he is due to leave British training for good at some point later this year, it has been confirmed, ending his 20 years.
This is one of the many behind-the-scenes changes that have been made by the team in recent years since Zak Brown became executive director in 2016.
IT WAS MEGA !!! 🏆🏆 P1 and P2, what a great day for the team, I am so proud of everyone’s hard work to achieve this result. 🍾 Daniel, Lando – you crushed him. ??
Now let’s celebrate! #GP of Italy pic.twitter.com/dTxtSQO3nK
– Zak Brown (@ZBrownCEO) September 12, 2021
The American – who lifted a winners’ trophy for the team for the first time at Monza after that of Daniel Ricciardo victory – became CEO two years later and has since made a number of changes, with Andreas Seidl becoming team manager, James Key the technical director and Andrea Stella the executive director of the race.
He is happy with the team he has put together and thinks he has the best team leader on the grid at Seidl.
“I think the structure we have at McLaren is working extremely well for us,” he told Motorsport.com in April.
“Andreas and I have an exceptional working relationship. I think it’s extremely clear what my role is, what Andreas’s role is, and it’s also very clear to the team.
“My job as CEO of McLaren Racing is to field the most competitive and financially viable racing team, not only in F1, but in whatever we can venture like IndyCar etc. I think my job is to get the best people in the business, and I think we’ve done it. I think Andreas is the best team leader in the pit lane, IMHO.
“I don’t know how to lead an F1 team, it’s not my skill. That’s why Andreas is great. So my job is to give him the freedom, the support and the financial resources to allow him to do his job. Andreas therefore has full authority to lead the F1 team as he sees fit. “