McLaren F1 team dismisses ex-boss Whitmarsh's ill-judged criticism

McLaren has dismissed criticism from Martin Whitmarsh as "ill-judged and ill-informed" after the Formula 1 team's former boss suggested it needed to axe senior personnel to revive its fortunes

McLaren F1 team dismisses ex-boss Whitmarsh's ill-judged criticism

Last weekend Whitmarsh, who worked for McLaren from 1989 to 2014 and rose to the role of team principal in that time, was quoted by the Mail on Sunday declaring the British team needed "a big change of approach".

He said there is "too much politics between the main figures" and that "a number of them have to go".

In response to a query from Sky Sports F1 about those comments, a McLaren spokesperson said: "Martin worked for McLaren for many years, but has been outside the business for some time and is not part of our future.

"What he said was ill-judged and ill-informed in our view but he is entitled to his opinion.

"There are high expectations in the team and we won't compromise those high expectations.

"Everyone at McLaren is working tremendously hard and is focused on the future, not the past."

Whitmarsh's comments came after being "pitched over the edge" by McLaren's decision to dismiss its former technical director Tim Goss earlier this year.

McLaren has not scored a podium since the 2014 Australian Grand Prix (pictured above), a few months before Whitmarsh formally parted company with the team but after he had been removed as team principal.

Whitmarsh said McLaren's situation left him feeling "desperately sad" and claimed he even "piled in a bit" when expressing his concerns to friend and McLaren shareholder Mansour Ojjeh at this year's Spanish GP.

He claimed that "I wouldn't turn them away" if McLaren approached him for support. McLaren expected a much stronger 2018 season after finally splitting from Honda after three difficult years, but has failed to find swift success with Renault.

In April, it announced that executive director Zak Brown would become the F1 team's new chief executive officer, with Eric Boullier remaining McLaren's F1 racing director.

McLaren is fifth in the constructors' championship with 40 points after seven races, having scored zero points at this stage a year ago at the beginning of its appalling final season with Honda.

However, it is far from the performance level of fellow Renault customer Red Bull, which has won two races, and is also 16 points behind the French manufacturer's works team in the championship.

McLaren has failed to score points in the previous two grands prix, with new Le Mans 24 Hours winner Fernando Alonso retiring from both races.

Speaking ahead of this weekend's French GP, Boullier said: "Our focus must first and foremost be on reliability after our recent spate of retirements.

"We've worked hard to understand our performance issues in Canada and hope that in France we can put in a more representative showing on track."

shares
comments
The Paul Ricard trick behind Capelli's 1990 French GP shock
Previous article

The Paul Ricard trick behind Capelli's 1990 French GP shock

Next article

The big challenges and unknowns of Formula 1's triple-header

The big challenges and unknowns of Formula 1's triple-header
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats Plus

How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats

The 2022 Formula 1 season will be remembered as a record book rewriting Max Verstappen masterclass, a completely different challenge to his maiden world championship last year, and a clear sign he is still raising his own level. But where does it stack up against the all-time great F1 campaigns?

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022