No date yet set for Capito move to McLaren

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Volkswagen motorsport director Jost Capito has said that no firm date has yet been set for his move to his new role in Formula One as the chief executive officer at McLaren.

"Until everything is organised at Volkswagen I can not go," Capito told Spain's AS newspaper this week while at the WRC Rallye Monte Carlo.

"There's no date for the change. Until there is a proper substitute in place at Volkswagen, I will not be going."

The current media favourite to take over from Capito is retired rally co-driver Luis Moya, well known for his long run of success alongside Carlos Sainz in the 1990s. Moya also served as Subaru World Rally Team's Sporting Director from 2003 to 2006.

However Capito wouldn't confirm whether Moya was the leading candidate, simply remarking: "There are rumours in all countries."

Capito did make it clear that the recent emissions scandals that have rocked Volkswagen weren't a factor in his decision to leave. "Absolutely not. In fact, if anything they made it harder for me to make the decision to leave. It complicated the decision."

Nor was Capito leaving because of fears the financial impact of the scandal could lead to big cuts in the parent company's spend on motorsports in the forthcoming seasons.

"There is sufficient budget to compete at the same level as the last three years," insisted Capito. "Cuts only affect areas that are not directly involved in the competition, such as marketing or public relations."

Capito did admit that he will miss working at Volkswagen and in the World Rally Championship, which he said has a very different environment from the Formula One Grand Prix paddock.

"I will miss the WRC. It is a sport with great atmosphere, very open, and I'll be leaving behind many friends. Formula One is different, more closed."

But don't take that as an indication that Capito is already regretting his decision to enter the lion's den of Formula One, or daunted about the task that now lies ahead of him as he bids to revive McLaren from its recent depression.

"McLaren and Ferrari are the most prestigious teams in Formula One, and I could not turn down the offer. I've known Ron Dennis since the Porsche Cup days when Hakkinen ran a race. Now he has decided to hire me. I want to help McLaren back to the top."

Capito added that he doesn't have any anxiety about how he will deal with star driver Fernando Alonso, who has been quick in the past to make his displeasure about the state of affairs at McLaren known publicly.

"Alonso is very competitive and is working to help the team return to the top. He will be a pleasure to work with. In WRC it can also be difficult to work with drivers who are also very charismatic - there will be no problems."

And nor does he see McLaren's state of relations with engine supplier Honda a hard problem to address and set right.

"When I was at Sauber, I worked with people from Yamaha," he pointed out. "It's not complicated, but we must adapt to their different way of dealing with things."

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