McLaren restructures

McLaren Mercedes has undergone an internal restructure that means Martin Whitmarsh take over the operational management of the entire F1 programme

The 54-year-old Hans-Ulrich Maik, MD of Mercedes-Ilmor, left the company on April 6. The decision was said to be amicable and mutual. Maik became MD of Mercedes-Ilmor after the acquisition of the majority shareholding of Brixworth-based Ilmor by Daimler Chrysler in October 2002.

The 45-year-old Whitmarsh, a director of the McLaren Group and formerly MD of McLaren Racing, will be fully responsible for both the chassis and engine programmes with immediate effect. Current McLaren Racing operations director Jonathan Neale takes over from Whitmarsh as McLaren Racing MD.

Whitmarsh is also a member of the Daimler Chrysler F1 executive board that takes all decisions relevant to the F1 programme. The board also comprises Ron Dennis, Chairman and CEO of the McLaren Group and Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes Benz Motorsport. The board reports directly to the DaimlerChrysler main board represented by Jürgen Hubbert.

Ron Dennis said: "There will be no barriers between McLaren, Stuttgart and Brixworth, with everyone pulling in the same direction."

The team has, of course, had a difficult start to the season, highlighted by a number of reliability concerns. Haug added: "We want to work as one entity and I think that this is a very good step in the right direction."

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