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Posted on February 4, 2014
Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 17.17.17

Eric Boullier started work yesterday at McLaren as Racing Director, a position from which he will carry out the responsibilities of a Team Principal, albeit with a different job title.

It was reported last week that there has been a further change, with the departure of Marcin Budkowski, the Polish born Head of Aerodynamics since 2012 at McLaren, who had been due to work alongside Peter Prodromou, Adrian Newey’s right hand man at Red Bull Racing, as well as his existing colleague Doug McKiernan, Chief Aerodynamicist, who remains with the team.


But in a further twist, it now appears that Prodromou’s arrival at McLaren is looking less likely to happen as Red Bull Racing have been working hard to get him to stay. The Englishman of Greek Cypriot parentage signed a contract with McLaren last autumn, but Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said at the time that he would not release his man until “at least” the end of his existing agreement with the Milton Keynes squad.

Now, in scenes reminiscent of Ron Dennis persuading Newey not to leave McLaren for Jaguar Racing despite signing a contract to go in the summer of 2001, it seems that Prodromou may stay at Newey’s side.

Contractually he is due to join McLaren at the end of his current contract, but there are indications that Red Bull wants to retain its man. McLaren would probably sue for breach of contract if he did not come to the team, but that is a matter of financial settlement, which Red Bull can well afford.

* Meanwhile McLaren’s Performance Academy is set to open its doors to talented young drivers from 13 years upwards this year as the programme enters its second year.

The Academy provides education and support which will help young drivers to hone their talents and learn about fitness, nutrition, hydration and other aspects of the driver’s game. Anyone interested in applying for a place should email performanceacademy@mclaren.com

Meanwhile behind the scenes at McLaren..
162 Responses

  1.   1. Posted By: Steve
        Date: February 4th, 2014 @ 11:50 am 

    All I can say is if Prodromou does welch on the deal, McLaren should do their best to either extract as much cash from Red Bull as possible, or alternatively, enforce the contract, and ensure that he spends his entire contract on “gardening leave”…

    [Reply]

    Juzh Reply:

    How can they enforce the contract if he’s not even working there?

    [Reply]

    Random 79 Reply:

    He doesn’t have to be working at McLaren, he just has to be not working at RBR :)

    [Reply]

    gpfan Reply:

    Are you a Canadian?

    Random 79 Reply:

    Negative – I am a not Canadian

    bobster Reply:

    Prodromou has made a commitment to start working at McLaren at a certain date. To me it’s similar to the situation that arose between Button and Williams. Button had signed a contract to drive for Williams. He want’s working for them, but he’d agreed to start working for them at a specific date. Then he decided – before the season finished – that he would be better off staying at Honda and told Williams he no longer wished to drive for them. But he’d signed a contract. Williams sprang into action and eventually a sum of money changed hands. Of course, McLaren can’t do a whole lot until – and if! – it becomes clear that Prodromou will not be honouring his contract.

    [Reply]

    JEZ Playense Reply:

    All a little pointless really. No team wants a senior aero development guy who would rather be somewhere else.

    Macca could sue. They are probably within their rights to sue. If they need the money that badly, they should focus on selling a few more road cars and then they will have it!

    Optimaximal Reply:

    It’s not about ‘needing money’. If due diligence is not worked on a contract, then someone needs to be recompensed.

    If more money lines McLaren’s pockets because of the decision, great. Likely an insignificant value to both parties, some lawyers will get a bit richer, F1 roles on etc.

    Graeme Reply:

    This is a strange way in which JA-F1 has set up it’s reply and comment section, and as such I am not sure where my reply will fall. However someone commented about how can MAclaren in a contract when the person is not even working for them. My imediate responce would normaly be(are you ***e ***l *r **e **u ***t *****d) however I will not go that way today. I will however say, If you SIGN your are SIGNED and if Prodromou does not honour his contract he should pay and pay a lot, as I am Sure Ron will make a claim for.

    [Reply]

    JEZ Playense Reply:

    Ron Denis, they guy who promised #1 srtatus to Alonso, who then reneged. Ron Denis who attempted a similar move himself with Mr Newy as reported. Ron Denis whose team was fined 100 million dollars for cheating and struck off from the constructors championship…

    Wade Parmino Reply:

    There will be a set amount in a clause already in the contract which the cancelling party will have to pay the other. If this is not the case then Lionel Hutz must have drawn up the contract.

    Ron Denni$ cannot claim any more than what he is legally entitled to.

    W Johnson Reply:

    To JEZ Playense,

    How do you know that Ron offered #1 status to Alonso? I don’t suppose you are Alonso’s manager? Where is your proof for making such a wild statement when the history of McLaren is to have to two competing racers. Also, far more likely that Alonso assumed he would be with having a rookie driver alongside.

    Nick Reply:

    Even if they somehow made him go to McLaren, they couldn’t put him on gardening leave for the whole contract term. They could maybe try drag it out and waste time in courts just to be annoying, but at the end of the day it wouldn’t hold up at all.

    [Reply]

    Lee Reply:

    Enforce the contract? How does that differ from what they are seeking to do? As James says if he stays it’s simply a matter of compensation for breach of contract. Perhaps you think they should march him to Woking at gun point and demand work.

    [Reply]

    J.Danek Reply:

    lol, like seriously ha. what crazy cracker would want to forcibly employ someone unwilling in such a senior and important position?

    he could do tremendous damage and cause serious performance failures out of spite/revenge, if he bothered to input anything at all.

    sheesh. it’s all about the benjamins!

    [Reply]

    Gudien Reply:

    Gardening Leave aside McLaren has more pressing problems, such as finding a title sponsor. Do you really expect the car to show up at races with the ‘MP4-29′ logo on it’s flanks?

    Leaving it a bit late, eh Ron?

    [Reply]

    Mike Reply:

    Think outside the box. A title sponsor will want more than a 1 year deal. Maybe Honda are providing financial backing this year to help McLaren develop the car, and financial backing PLUS the drive train from next year onwards.

    In the Williams days the Honda logo was on their rear wing – title sponsor territory.

    [Reply]

    Martin Reply:

    Your memory is playing tricks on you. In 1984 it was Fly Saudia, 1985 Denim on the front and back of the rear wing, and 1986 Canon on the front and back.

    Alan from Toronto Reply:

    Hi Mike,

    If my memory serves in 85-86 the Williams-Honda has the word “Canon” (the camera company) on both the rear wing top elements and the rear wing endplates. A search on Google will show what you need to see.

    Lee Staples Reply:

    McLaren is swimming in money. They don’t need a title sponsor. I was reading a report yesterday that the money from Honda is already flowing. 100 million per year from Honda, free engines, and Honda is even picking up half of the drivers’ salary. And Honda has already started sending the money to McLaren as of this year. The Honda deal has allowed McLaren to have the biggest F1 budget they’ve ever had for 2014. A title sponsor at this point is a luxury not a necessity.

    [Reply]

    Gudien Reply:

    I must confess this is all news to me. A title sponsor is a luxury perhaps for the small teams further back on the grid but certainly not those teams at the front.

    Interesting also that so many fans are aware of the financial dealings at companies such as McLaren and Honda.

    I hope you’re right, Lee Staples, for I’d love to see McLaren continue as a top rank team.

    Andy Reply:

    I agree, and it doesn’t say much for the individual if they sign a deal then renege on it.
    They are supposed to be professional.

    [Reply]


  2.   2. Posted By: Stuart Harrison
        Date: February 4th, 2014 @ 11:51 am 

    I suspect they have more to worry about than aero tech staff.

    [Reply]

    Cliff Reply:

    When you consider that aero proved to be a significant factor in the failure of the 2013 car, I’d say they need to give it serious attention.

    [Reply]


  3.   3. Posted By: Magnus
        Date: February 4th, 2014 @ 11:54 am 

    James, why the different job title for Boullier? Would it be to do with the terms of Whitmarsh’s dismissal from the role of ‘Team Principal’?

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    No, I think it’s because they see it like Mercedes; F1 teams now are major organisations and there are two roles at the top – a CEO who runs the business (Wolff at Merc, TBA at McLaren, although Jonathan Neale is acting in that role currently) and a guy who runs the race team (Lowe ate Merc and Boullier at McLaren)

    Makes sense to me.

    [Reply]

    AndyFov Reply:

    I spent a minute trying to fathom who in F1 has the initials TBA.

    … Then the penny dropped.

    [Reply]

    Arnie S Reply:

    :)

    Random 79 Reply:

    That Bloody Australian?

    Mike Reply:

    Random 79 Reply:
    February 4th, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    That Bloody Australian?

    That’s well worked out and appropriate.

    tremur Reply:

    Yes, That Bloody Australian would appear to be…. wait for it…

    Their Best Asset

    Ben Reply:

    What? you mean Paul Stoddart is back!?

    DonSimon Reply:

    Unrelated James, but looking forward to the CASS event tomorrow.

    Are any other JAonF1 people going? If so we need to meet for a pint afterwards!

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    I have no idea. We’ll see!

    DonSimon Reply:

    Haha, the second part was directed at them, not yourself. I suspect you will be a busy man that night.

    Farfa Reply:

    I am hoping to battle across London without the tubes to be there.

    Kay Reply:

    It kind of p**s me off when Wolff talk like he invented this idea when in fact Brawn and Fry ran the team this way pretty much during Brawn’s time at Honda / Brawn GP.

    [Reply]

    Adrian Newey Jnr Reply:

    And Flavio at Bennetton. He ran the business/political/socialising side and left the technical side to others.

    RodgerT Reply:

    Todt was the TP, Brawn was the TD (technical director), and Byrne was the aerodynamicist.

    James Allen Reply:

    Byrne was Chief designer

    Elie Reply:

    Absolutely James, its too big a job for one man to run both in those big teams and they are very different roles, each requiring different skill sets.

    [Reply]


  4.   4. Posted By: Jose Sanchez
        Date: February 4th, 2014 @ 11:58 am 

    A revolución brewing at mclaren. Soon they will be winning again. Remids me of 1981 sea son, with a solid racer like watson, and a New comer like de cesaris.
    I imagine fans will say the current drivers are superior. And i must agree, but listening to magnussen talk the other day, was like watching a robot. No emotion at all. I imagine is his youth, but i guess is just another of the shortcomings of the current f1. They send kid to do a mans job.

    [Reply]

    rasbob Reply:

    “listening to magnussen talk the other day, was like watching a robot. No emotion at all”

    Sounds not unlike another Scandinavian F1 driver, who hasn’t done badly at all…..

    [Reply]

    Random 79 Reply:

    The important question to ask is does Magnussen like ice-cream? :)

    [Reply]

    Red Rider Reply:

    ha-ha

    Niall Reply:

    Bet Magnussen likes Magnums!

    Ahmad Reply:

    The technology and safety in F1 have evolved and made it easier for teenagers to drive in F1, and even succeed.

    As for Magnussen being “emotionless”, it seems quite normal for Scandinavians.

    [Reply]

    Gaz Boy Reply:

    Agree about Scandinavians, the Viking countries have given us drivers who like to do their talking on the track – Keke, Mika, Kimi, Nico Ros (alright, half Finnish) and now Kevin which is always the best way: a F1 driver earns his salary on the track.
    By the way, what chance a grand prix in the Viking countries, say a street race around Helsinki or Copenhagen? Mind you, trying to get a good nights kip during a summer evening in the land of the midnight sun be tricky!

    [Reply]

    Ahmad Reply:

    I don’t think it’s going to happen in Scandinavia, as it’s too cold (which is a problem for the tyres) and their population size is pretty small.

    To be truly international, F1 needs to go to Africa, e.g. South Africa, Morocco, Kenya.

    ChrisJson Reply:

    Finland is not a part of Scandinavia, however
    it´s a part of Norden (the Nordic countries) as is Iceland. The vikings lived in Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

    Gaz Boy Reply:

    Ahmad, I’m pretty sure in the mid to late 70s there was a grand prix in Sweden. I think it was at Anderstorp, which is in the Jonkoping County part of south western Sweden, about an hour and half east of Gothenburg. Ronnie Peterson and Gunnar Nillson were two of the finest drivers in F1, which is why there was probably a grand prix in sweden.
    The race itself was usually held in June, and was held more often than not in hot, dry, sunny conditions. The Nordic countries have similar summers to Britain; Copenhagen and Gothenburg are roughly on the same latitude as Edinburgh or Dundee. If a race in the Nordic countries was held in June or July conditions would be fine, about the same as Silverstone really. I remember some time ago a DTM (German touring car) race was held at Helsinki, and race conditions were ideal, same as having a race in Britain or Germany in the summer.
    Population of the Nordic countries is small, granted, but so is Bahrain, Monaco, Singapore and Abu Dhabi, so the issue of population isn’t an issue in that sense.
    You’re right that a grand prix should be held in Africa. Realistically, with terrorism a problem in the Saharan North Africa and more recently Kenya, I don’t think it would be wise to hold a major sporting event in the North or East of the continent. Realistically, it’s only South Africa that could host a grand prix. I’d love to see a race return to the rainbow nation, and apparently a return to SA is on the cards, so watch this space.
    To ChrisJson, thanks for the information, I’m going to give my old geography teacher an ear bashing for telling me wrong information on Finland! Sorry, didn’t mean to be ignorant. I do know that the Finnish language is part of the Finno-Uralic language branch, and is related to Hungarian (magyar) despite being at different parts of Europe. Perhaps that why Mika, Kimi and Heikki have always been good at the Hungaroring (Mika said he felt it was like a home grand prix for him).
    PS Always loved Finnish drivers, they are always exciting to watch and will wring the balls out of any F1 car – just watch Keke attacking Eau Rogue at the 1983 Belgian grand prix. That’s commitment!

    Gaz Boy Reply:

    Can I just add that I think it’s a shame there is no F1 race in Finland. The Finns have given us some of the dramatic moments in F1 history – who can forget Mika overtaking Michael at Spa? – and it seems odd we have no race in a country that has produced more F1 champions per head than any other country in the world. Racing in front of your home country must be truly special for a racing driver, Fernando said as much recently after winning on home turf at Valancia and Barcelona. I street race around Helsinki in mid summer would give the Finns a chance to cheer on Kimi and Vatty on home turf. ……..and also be a worthy addition to the calender. Probably won’t happen, but you can always wish.

    Delgado Reply:

    Magnussen’s a quick lad who deserves his chance. Though I see your meaning and understand that the essence of emmotive bravery is leaving F1 the way things are going…yet there is one man to call on as far as bravery, bravado and skill go, though he’s out there now in the snow of Sweden hell bent on winning the WRC title in his debut season…all hail Robert Kubica!!

    [Reply]

    franed Reply:

    He will need to stop crashing then!

    [Reply]

    rad_g Reply:

    Let’s give him a chance in Rally of Sweden.

    DonSimon Reply:

    They sent a kid to do a mans job in 2008. Didn’t work out too badly. A 21 year old took a STR to first place not so long ago. He turned out to be quick too.

    [Reply]

    Andrew Carter Reply:

    Maybe it’s because he’s a Dane talking in English, or maybe your expectations of people are just completely unrealistic.

    And I certainly hope that’s the last time Magnussen gets compared to de Crasheris

    [Reply]

    Jose Sanchez Reply:

    I expect a daniel ricciardo. He sets the estándar for newcomers.

    [Reply]

    Andrew Carter Reply:

    So, unrealistic then.

    J.Danek Reply:

    Well said, Andrew.

    I’d like to listen to some of these punters give an interview to Swedish media – in Swedish – being native ENGLISH-speakers, and see how verbose, articulate, emotive and witty they come across!

    Oh wait – most native English-speakers can barely manage their own tongue, let alone speak a foreign language…

    [Reply]

    Andrewinwork Reply:

    As the old addage says. If you’re good enough, you’re old enough. Brute strength is no longer so essential but lightening reactions (which dull with age) are at a premium

    [Reply]

    hippyneil Reply:

    Scandinavians are not known for their outward displays of emotion and I doubt Kevin is much different.
    And also, damn, but it’s like rolling back the years and seeing Jan again. Kevin really is a chip off the old block and it looks like he’s inherited his dad’s talent – and maybe a bit more.
    I also think a lot of the media training the drivers receive nowadays has a tendency to push emotions to one side so they present a corporate, business-like image. Ricciardo excepted, of course. He’s F1′s Mr Smiley.

    [Reply]

    Random 79 Reply:

    Dan is the only guy who could drive in Singapore with the lights off ;)

    [Reply]


  5.   5. Posted By: Bjornar Simonsen
        Date: February 4th, 2014 @ 12:05 pm 

    Me don’t like

    [Reply]


  6.   6. Posted By: 1.6V6T
        Date: February 4th, 2014 @ 12:07 pm 

    James,
    Do you know if the McLaren man is going to another team and if so which team? I’m guessing this is the guy that, at least in part responsible for the clever rear suspension on the MP4-29

    [Reply]


  7.   7. Posted By: jmv
        Date: February 4th, 2014 @ 12:15 pm 

    Seems like a bit of distance and observing the racing team in past years has given Ron Dennis valuable insights in where change was needed.

    people like to make fun of Ron. For me he remains a racer, visionary and highly intelligent self made individual.

    Who needs Ross Brawn at Mclaren!

    [Reply]

    Random 79 Reply:

    Ron Dennis.

    [Reply]

    Andrew Carter Reply:

    Except that by all accounts he’s been trying to get back into the race team since he left it.

    [Reply]

    JEZ Playense Reply:

    But he (Ron) didnt really leave. There was a deal with the FIA/ Mosley for him to stan own following the cheating scandal…

    [Reply]

    Andrew Carter Reply:

    Whats your point? Pushed or jumped, he still left the team but has been trying to get the bored to bring him back ever since.

    All this talk of Whitmarsh’s McLaren under performing misses out that they weren’t exactly winning everything in sight under Ron for the 15 years before he left either.

    W Johnson Reply:

    Ron should never had been made to leave F1. That was quite a dark period under Mosely.
    Do you think FIA would ever try to make someone like Luca di Montizemolo leave F1???

    Very unprofessional to let personal attitudes within FIA influence decisions….

    I sadly wish you were correct when you said that Ron never left….


  8.   8. Posted By: Alpha16
        Date: February 4th, 2014 @ 12:35 pm 

    I wonder where Whitmarsh is?

    I would like to hear what he has to say!

    The other thing is Toto Wolff mentioned that the concept of a team principle is out dated!

    Well perhaps he hasn’t quite noticed but the concept of a “Team principle” seems to be working just fine down at Red Bull!

    He should rather just be quiet and be happy that he got Ross Brawn out.

    His comments are obviously aimed and trying to justify his new position and are an indication that he doesn’t feel all that confident!

    and frankly speaking Ross Brawn is a man who has the mental capacity to handle both commercial and the technical side of F1!

    [Reply]

    Alpha16 Reply:

    U don’t exactly hear of Global Corps having 2 CEO’s do u?1 that handles the financial side and the other that handles the operational side of the company.

    They all have 1 CEO who oversees both sides of the company.

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    They have CEO and COO, who handles operations.

    I guess in this case, operations = racing team

    [Reply]

    Alpha16 Reply:

    Good point James

    however I work for a Multinational oil corp and we don’t have a COO.

    We have VP’s who report to EVP’s who report to our CEO who then reports to the board.

    Some corps do & some don’t.

    Torchwood Five Reply:

    Don’t forget about CFOs, for the financial matters.

    MelB Reply:

    Not to mention the UFOs hovering around…

    Nick Reply:

    Never heard of a Chief Financial Officer? Take a guess what they might look after…

    In this case, if we wanted to use these kinds of terms, we could say Boullier is the COO, whoever will handle the other side of things will be the CFO, and they’ll both report to the CEO (of the racing team)… who then reports to Ron Dennis.

    [Reply]

    Andrew Carter Reply:

    Ron Dennis is the CEO.

    gpfan Reply:

    And Old McDonald reports to the:
    “Ee Eye Ee Eye Oh.”

    darren w Reply:

    The point is that CEO (Team Principal in F1 speak), isn’t a job description that reflects day-to-day work load or a particular area of expertise. It is a leadership role that reflects ultimate accountability to ownership for operational performance.

    It means getting to choose your team and leading them in the manner of your choosing and living/dying (professionally) based on results.

    This move by Mercedes isn’t about the size or scope of modern F1 teams, because far bigger and more diverse organizations operate quite successfully under a single point of leadership.

    No, this is a philosophical/cultural decision. There is no empirical evidence to support the notion that the new model is better suited to modern organizational success than the previous one.

    The only place where the single point of leadership is now an outmoded idea is inside Mercedes.

    The only empirical result of their switch to date is that Ross Brawn and all of his experience and demonstrated leadership qualities have left the building.

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    He’s not been into MTC since the press release went out.

    [Reply]

    Alpha16 Reply:

    James don’t you think is a bit harsh to fire him?

    I understand Ron may have felt he didn’t deliver as team principle but Martin has been an employee of Mclaren for a very long time and I’m sure they could have used his talents in another capacity within the organisation.

    I think its a bit harsh for such a long standing employee to just go from been CEO and Team principle straight out the door.

    I always thought Ron and Martin had a close working relationship.

    But I guess they didn’t after all!

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    They haven’t fired him. He hasn’t resigned

    He’s kind of in limbo, as I understand it.

    Flying_Scotsman Reply:

    Its possible that Whitmarsh doesnt want to come back.
    After being CEO,maybe the role they have in mind for him is one that Martin considers to be beneath him.

    If put in the same position,i would rather walk away too.

    Andrew Carter Reply:

    Does make you wonder about the “loyalty” Ron like to talk about.

    deancassady Reply:

    My interpretation of the events suggests a power struggle between Martin and Ron.
    As it seems that Ron has outmanoeuvred Martin in the corporate boardroom, in my expereince, this creates ‘cultural differences’, invariably of the irreconcilable kind.
    If this is the case at McLaren right now, then we are in the period that Martin is looking for a next thing for him to say he is moving on to; so the announcement can be made all tied up; this is typically considered in everybody’s best interest.
    Everybody who understands these things (from afar, based on the common information available), already knows, more or less, that Ron has won; so he doesn’t need to do a parade lap, or anything like that, just be as gracious as possible, and it is known by everybody that he is ultimately in charge, making the highest level strategic changes he sees fit.
    Good job on the Eric Boullier move; Boullier, freed from keeping the financial ship from sinking may well go on to be champion, if not this year, then 2015-2016 likely. He’s a start on the rise, mark my words.

    It is however, interesting to note that all of the pieces seem to be in place, and Whitmarsh may well be the unsung hero to McLaren’s final championship position this year.

    Mark my words on this also, McLaren are a very real threat to take the championship this year!

    Button is necessarily driving for his career this year; so we could see a very interesting intra-team battle between him and Mahnussen, if the young Dane is as good as touted.
    Certainly there will be a new face at McLaren for the 2015 season, could be a Finn or a Spaniard, with the likely move at the Red team to a young Frenchman.

    Gaz Boy Reply:

    Re: deancassady: excellent essay Dean, but if Ronspeak is calling the shots at Macca, I can’t imagine Fernando wanting to go back to Woking. Just a hunch, but it’s clear Fernando still blames Ronspeak for his relationship breakdown with the Woking lads and lasses in 2007, so personally I think he will stick with the Prancing Horse. Mind you, truth is stranger than fiction in the rather convoluted world of F1, so who knows…………

    Rayz Reply:

    Personally, I think it’s an awful way to treat a man who has devoted so much of his life in the pursuit of McLaren’s goals.
    I would be among the doubters as to his handling of the 2013 season as a whole but there is no way that Whitmarsh deserves to be in the situation he is currently in. The fact that McLaren has not felt the need to clarify his position within the team since his ousting as Team Principal is an absolute disgrace in my opinion and has dropped Ron Dennis a peg or two in my list of great men of F1.

    Martin’s performance as a Team Principal aside, this must be one of the harshest oustings from a team that F1 has ever experienced. He joined McLaren the same year I was born 1989. That is an amazing commitment to a team and to be in the position he is in at the moment beggars belief.

    I’m guessing there will be a legal battle at this point. Lawyers’ silence is the only reason that I can come up with as to why there has been no news regarding his status within McLaren. If it was simply a reshuffle to get Boullier in, we surely would have heard news by now. And even if there were a role for him at McLaren (perhaps the road car side), could he stomach it?

    James….. your thoughts?

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    True, but he’s a manager, employed by shareholders, who decided a change was needed

    That’s true in any business and especially sports teams.

    Rayz Reply:

    I accept your point James. And what’s more, it’s a very cut throat business. Teams have to deliver to meet sponsors and investors expectations. 2013 was a shocker for McLaren. It was unacceptable, no doubt.

    I just think a “thanks for all your efforts over the last 25 years and best of luck with your future endeavors” would be the least he deserves from McLaren.

    grat Reply:

    I’d argue that 2012 was worse than 2013 for McLaren. They scored more points, but they consistently made bad decisions all year long, and gave away what should have been at least a driver’s championship (and then lost the driver!), and a serious challenge for the constructor’s.

    They then followed that up with the myopic decision to start over from scratch on the MP4-28.

    2013, they simply had a bad car, and may or may not have made the most of it… but most of the errors that killed them in 2013 were made in the 2012 season.

    Joel Reply:

    When you are winning, everything seems to go fine. However, the challenge comes only when you aren’t winning the last few years.

    [Reply]


  9.   9. Posted By: Steve Dalby
        Date: February 4th, 2014 @ 12:38 pm 

    As a McLaren fan I am sorry that all this change and politics is taking away from Martin Whitmarsh who does appear to have done as promised and delivered a good 2014 car.

    Politics are a difficult thing to manage and Ron I think might have used the poor season to get greater control and hope that making change for the wrong reasons does not create bigger problems.

    [Reply]

    Lee Reply:

    Much much too soon to say they have a good car. At this early stage a good car is one that can complete a lap but when they get them sorted and start to extract performance, and we know more about how well it manages it’s tyres then we’ll know if they have a good car.

    [Reply]

    j Reply:

    If it was Whitmarsh that came up with the idea to swap design teams on alternate years then he probably should be fired.

    If it wasn’t his idea then I guess he’s just getting paid to be the scapegoat at the moment.

    [Reply]


  10.   10. Posted By: steve green
        Date: February 4th, 2014 @ 12:44 pm 

    James, merc essentially replaced Brawn with Lowe. What was their rational in doing so?

    [Reply]

    Clarks4WheelDrift Reply:

    I’d tend to say they replaced Brawn with Wolff first and then Lowe. Rational may be Brawn was too big a figure for them, may be nationality, Wolff and Lowe may fit better from their board’s point of view?

    Maybe the decision was made and the wheels were put in motion before the team started to improve last year?

    [Reply]

    AuraF1 Reply:

    To be fair Brawn had been mentioning going fishing for several years now so it makes sense that they put a succession plan in place. Mercedes also wanted a set of privateers who might take over the outfit should they wish to have a complete exit from the sport.

    [Reply]

    Martin Reply:

    I suspect to get the details you’d have find sources close to Wolff, Lauda and the board. Unlike Brawn, Wolff and Lauda have financial stakes in the team. I don’t recall a reason for Mercedes selling out – possibly it allowed the some of the engine development to be paid for via the asset sales. Wolff has had success outside of F1, but is new at this level. Since 1984 Lauda has had more misses than hits in F1. Brawn has regularly been a winner and that credibility brings influence that may be contrary to Wolff’s and Lauda’s financial interests and opinions. Paddy Lowe may have been someone who was unlikely to challenge Wolff and Lauda on financial matters in a way that Brawn would.

    All speculation from me. I haven’t as a fan heard much that is negative about Brawn as a manager. I have seen it argued that while at Ferrari he was extremely successful and lobbying for rule changes to block McLaren’s ideas, but that is more a concern for technology leaning fans than the teams.

    [Reply]


  11.   11. Posted By: Baghetti
        Date: February 4th, 2014 @ 1:10 pm 

    How long until we will see a claim from Lotus for illegal transfer of confidential information? Unless Lotus has entered into an upfront deal with McLaren to (temporary) solve its financial woes by ‘selling’ one of the most valuable assets they had left…

    [Reply]

    Ian H Reply:

    I’m guessing Lotus were in breach of contract for failure to uphold their contract obligations (not paying salaries etc)

    [Reply]

    Baghetti Reply:

    Good point but a typical confidentiality clause would remain valid even if that was the case as a failure to uphold contractual obligations would normally be a ground for termination (and indemnification) but not to override any confidentiality provisions, these typically remain in place for a determined period after termination…

    [Reply]

    AuraF1 Reply:

    It’s an odd set up at Enstone given the layers of company ownership and liability – it’s entirely possible Eric wasn’t even a employee but a partner/director and able to resign at will. He’s never said he was a direct employee and so it’s hard to know where he stands but the way he exited suggests he had more control than is usual.

    bobster Reply:

    Yes, but when Newey went to McLaren and that car suddenly got a front wing very similar to that on the Williams that wasn’t any breach of confidentiality or illegal transfer of IP. Newey couldn’t forget everything he’d learned.

    When people inside McLaren were getting information from a mole inside Ferrari THAT was illegal transfer of IP.

    If Boullier takes Lotus documents or drawings with him then that’s dodgy. Otherwise he’s just applying his experience – which is what McLaren hired him for.

    Baghetti Reply:

    I see your point in relation to Newey work for any 100% technical employee that is changing teams altough even there a standard contract will provide that a lenghty notice is required in order to keep the leaving employee away from next year’s concept (either that or a 6 or 12 month non-competition clause will apply), but with a not 100% technical person as Boullier I’m not so sure you can simply say it’s taking with you what you have learned before, if he tells Oatley or Goss what Lotus is doing and they copy that then i’m not so sure there is an actual steal of documents or drawings required for Lotus to argue that Boullier did something wrong…

    Andrew Carter Reply:

    Unless Boullier’s taken design documents with him it’s a complete non entity, otheriwse every team would be suing every other team.

    [Reply]


  12.   12. Posted By: AlexD
        Date: February 4th, 2014 @ 1:38 pm 

    red Bull might not exist few years from now…so people should also think about this:-)

    I really think that it is high time for Ferrari, Merc and McLaren to kick Red Bull out of F1 by racing them hard, winning and leaving Red Bull with nothing:-)

    [Reply]

    Voodoopunk Reply:

    It would be better if Red Bull called it quits and left F1 to the 2 old has beens.

    [Reply]

    Joel Reply:

    Pretty strong words mate. I don’t mind them winning, just not always.
    Also, they should stop their whining when things go down their way. They somehow feel that they are “entitled”.

    [Reply]

    AuraF1 Reply:

    I think the whining can also be put down to ‘strategy’ – they know that politics and the art of presenting yourself as the victim is part of success as much as building a great car and hiring the right driver. Newey learnt politicking from the best so I always see his ‘whining’ as modified Ronspeak ;)

    [Reply]

    Random 79 Reply:

    “I really think that it is high time for Ferrari, Merc and McLaren to kick Red Bull out of F1 by racing them hard, winning and leaving Red Bull with nothing”

    It’s trange that they didn’t think of that own their own…

    [Reply]

    Flying_Scotsman Reply:

    Trying to force them out the sport seems a bit harsh.
    I would be happy to have RB for another 20 years,just so long as its not a 1 horse race.

    [Reply]

    Lee Reply:

    First of all I think it’s safe to say they have been trying to win.

    Secondly why would you want a team and a major sponsor which brings millions into the sport to disappear just because they are doing a better job than everyone else?

    You’ve got issues mate.

    [Reply]

    Doobs Reply:

    They got rid of the ‘baccy sponsors, so what’s your point again?

    [Reply]

    Rayz Reply:

    Ah here, very strong words there lad.
    F1 needs all the teams it can get. Red Bull were breath of fresh air to most people in 2009 and 2010 when they introduced new contenders for the championship.
    People were saying similar things about Ferrari through the Schumacher dominance, pleading for teams to get their act together and send Ferrari packing back to the midfield.
    F1 always ebbs and flows. Red Bull won through fantastic car designs from Newey, brilliant management from Horner and pure class from Vettel.
    But the rest will eventually catch up and start winning again. Whether 2014 is that that time remains to be seen. But to have such a high profile brand in Red Bull is essential to the sport.

    Don’t forget that if they quit the sport, they would take with them Torro Rosso and the magnificent Red Bull young driver program…. which of course allowed for the likes of Vettel and Ricciardo to make their way to the top of motorsport. And hopefully they can bring through even more young talent to the grid such as Kvyat, Sainz Jnr etc.
    Their program beats the pay driver structure that the smaller teams are forced to employ.

    [Reply]

    AlexD Reply:

    This is not what I wanted to say. What I had in mind is this: If Red Bull is not going to be winning all the time, they will not stay in F1. They will not be like Williams or Sauber….staying if they struggle massively. They are here for Marketing.

    [Reply]

    deancassady Reply:

    Good comment, thanx.

    [Reply]

    timp Reply:

    That reminds me of the old Steve Martin routine: How to make a million bucks and not pay taxes. Step one, get a million bucks! The devil is in the details and despite what you think, I’m pretty sure racing and winning have been pretty high on the Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes agendas.

    [Reply]

    JEZ Playense Reply:

    Ferrari and McLaren are just bored of winning – thats why they don’t do it anymore.

    Its a natural thing in F1. Williams & McLaren have become so bored they don’t even make it to the podium. It happened to Lotus previously too.

    After a long cycle, losing similarly becomes boring and the teams come back up to the front. Consider Ferrari 20 years without any trophies (pre Michael) and Lotus until Kimi arrived was even longer.

    Relax, Mercedes are bored of not winning, and Red Bull will have their end too… LOL.

    [Reply]


  13.   13. Posted By: Gaz Boy
        Date: February 4th, 2014 @ 1:43 pm 

    Interesting times down at Woking. Personally, I think Eric is a very smart, savvy, street-wise operator. Considering all the baggage he had to put up with at Lotus, not least he fiscal limitations, he has done a remarkably impressive and consistent job. I think he will do some good business this year.
    No disrespect to Martin Whitmarsh, but he did make some bad errors of judgement, not least the decision to keep faith with the hopless 2013 Macca. If he had listened to Ronspeak and binned that 2013 lemon and brought back the superb – and fast! – 2012 Macca, then Jenson and Sergio’s season could have been so much better. At the very least, a win here and there and some podiums would be of been possible. Ronspeak did the correct thing in asking Martin to depart from F1 management; since 2009 Macca have underperformed compared to Brawn and recently Bull. Ronspeak likes winning constructors and drivers championships, and Macca haven’t been doing that under Martin’s leadership, so right decision.
    On a technical level, I am intrigued by Macca’s rear suspension. I felt over the last four years the McLaren suspension has been too stiff, prone to stall, and not producing enough downforce compared to Bull. Jenson has been complaining about poor ride quality the last few years, and also Gary Anderson has been critical of the Macca overly stiff suspension as well, and Gary is usually spot on where it comes to detailing. Perhaps this 2014 car with its distinctive rear suspension has much better compliance and downforce creating potential than previous Macca’s.

    [Reply]

    Tim Reply:

    ‘Gary is usually spot on ‘…….

    I just spat my tea over the keyboard :-) .
    Gary Anderson was the one who said the 2013 McLaren looked good and that he was pretty impressed at the launch!
    He couldn’t have been more wrong.

    [Reply]

    Gaz Boy Reply:

    Yes, that was a bit of a howler of a prediction from Gary, I’ll give you that Tim! Having said that, I think Gary is better on fine detail, rather than a broad over-view. When Gary analysed the front axle zone of the front wing/suspension after I think Malaysia or China (can’t remember which), he was critical of the three element wing Macca was using, rather than the six or seven element front wing used by Bull, Merc, Lotus et al. Gary pointed out that when Macca’s too simple front wing got near the ground it stalled too much, causing a loss of downforce and shifting the aero balance too far rearward. Add on the over stiff suspension with a very limited ride height, and Gary was correct in his front axle zone criticism of the Macca.
    I have to admit Tim, after Fernando won in Spain last year I thought he was going to be world championship material, and put £10 on Fernando claiming his third world championship. We all make wrong predictions sometimes, I’ve lost a tenner to prove it!

    [Reply]

    Tim Reply:

    To be fair to Gary Anderson, I have a bit of a hobbyhorse that I like to get onto when it comes to car launches and him. He always used to irritate me when he turned up at the launch, had a quick look at the car and then announced all the mistakes the team had made. Bearing in mind they had just spent thousands of hours working on the various solutions, comprises etc and here was GA, after about 10 minutes, telling them where they had gone wrong.
    Where I did think GA was good, was with a pen and paper in hand explaining something technical about a car.
    I am sure he knows what he is about, but he never worked for a top team like McLaren, for instance, and yet he used to be full of all the things they had done wrong.

    Random 79 Reply:

    Yes but in his defense he wasn’t the only one…

    [Reply]

    Random 79 Reply:

    P.S I hope you have a spare keyboard :)

    [Reply]

    Steve J Reply:

    While I don’t necessarily disagree with Whitmarsh’s departure, and am very keen to see McLaren back on top, the team has struggled to perform consistently at the highest levels for a long time now. In Ron Dennis’ last 9 years as team principle, McLaren won one WDC, with the last WCC secured back in 1998. I take nothing away from Ron, whose achievements in the sport speak for themselves. I just hope that the review he’s put in place deals with not only the short-terms problems at McLaren but addresses the longer-term shortcomings too. Things look to be heading in the right direction…

    [Reply]

    Gaz Boy Reply:

    Steve, absolutely agree with your sentiments. You’ve hit the nail on the head about Macca’s lack of consistency race to race, year to year, and it needs to be addressed with a long term strategy. Spot on Steve. Martin wasn’t cut out to be team principal. I think the recruitment of Eric is an excellent choice, a very savvy, street wise operator; I always questioned Martin on the lack of operational efficiency during his tenure at Macca. I think also McLaren have lacked vision and direction in their design department, or maybe have not been cohesive enough when designing the car. However, it looks like this years Macca is a much improved machine, so at least a step in the right direction, and you are right Steve, McLaren have to be implement a strategy they will ensure their long term competitiveness.
    Well said!

    [Reply]


  14.   14. Posted By: Ange
        Date: February 4th, 2014 @ 1:51 pm 

    Well, didn’t Prodromou initially want to leave because either he asked for a raise and they declined, or he got tired of being Newey’s right-hand man?

    Now, the fact they are apparently desperate to keep him, despite him having signed a contract with another team, leads me to think that either Red Bull decided to give him a very generous raise or/and Adrian Newey will actually be designing yachts for the America’s Cup soon so someone else needs to be the new Technical Director.

    I think it’s completely unfair though for McLaren, as it was completely unfair for Jaguar many years ago. You sign a contract that it’s binding and you do according to plan. He made the conscious decision to leave Red Bull and Red Bull did let him go. They cannot really have not known that he was in discussions with McLaren. Did they do something to stop him? Apparently no.

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    I think he may well want to join McLaren, but as the Newey Jaguar example showed, there are always ways of persuading someone to change their mind.

    [Reply]

    Ange Reply:

    Well, I don’t see how they can persuade Prodromou to stay with them if he doesn’t want to unless they have promised something really big which makes me think it’s either much more money than McLaren offered him or Newey’s position assuming Newey will soon be leaving Red Bull!

    If he still doesn’t want to continue with them, all they can do is put him on gardening leave for a long period of time.

    Why did Newey stay at McLaren btw?

    [Reply]

    Louis Reply:

    my understanding is Newey thought his contract with McLaren would end in August 2002, but he didn’t know/remember that McLaren had first right in extending his contract for another 3 years, as long as McLaren matched any other offer Newey received. Newey thought he only needed to give McLaren 12 months notice.

    So effectively, Newey wasn’t in a position to sign with Jaguar when he did in 2001, to join the team in Aug 2002.

    This was according to an article published by F1 Magazine in 2001.

    Marcus in Canada Reply:

    If people want to go, best not to stop them. There was probably more than one reason Prodromu wanted to go, and it is unlikely that Red Bull will be adequately able to address all of them. One someone has decided to go, they’re gone.
    Remember, in the end Newey DID leave for Jaguar (by then rebranded as Red Bull).

    [Reply]

    deancassady Reply:

    They’ve been holding Prodromu back, as the heir apparent at Red Bull design, their succession plan, so to speak.
    But… … … too long in the shadow, dulls ones power and motivation.
    Now he’s made his intentions to fly known, maybe there’s been so movement at RB, new promises of change and promotion and… finally… the top spot.
    But it’s all tactics; if RB can keep him away from a primary compeitor, even if they never intend on giving him what he wants, they still gain a prtial victory…
    ..until the freakishly capable design guru moves on… fishing?!? or just sailing around?

    Adrian Newey Jnr Reply:

    I agree.

    I would suggest Prodromu has had enough of Newey (righty or wronly) taking the full credit for the success of the car. He might feel he deserves some of the credit too. Therefore going to another team, taking on the lead design role, and producing a great car would demonstrate his talents in clean air, free from the Newey attachment.

    hero_was_senna Reply:

    What goes around comes around..

    [Reply]


  15.   15. Posted By: Elie
        Date: February 4th, 2014 @ 2:05 pm 

    Nice bit of info James. It would be interesting to know what he was promised at Mclaren & what Red Bull had to alter for him to return. One has to question a persons loyalty and allegiance if he has signed elswhere and Prodromou must have wanted a new challenge– I dont think this will end without a bit of a fight & I dont think its good in the long term for Red Bull either way.

    Im really interested in the Racing team dynamic mow that Boullier is in charge and how he works with Sam Michael – Sporting Director- these strike me as 2 very different people. I certainly wish Eric all the best.

    [Reply]


  16.   16. Posted By: Christi@n
        Date: February 4th, 2014 @ 2:21 pm 

    Hi James,

    anything new on the McLaren title sponsor front?

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    As I understand it there will not be a title sponsor in 2014

    [Reply]

    Random 79 Reply:

    On average how much would a company or brand have to shell out to be title sponsor versus just having a sticker on a car?

    [Reply]

    AuraF1 Reply:

    Vodafone was over £100 million wasn’t it? If PDVSA were handing over between £35-50 million for Maldonado’s drive with Williams and now Lotus it looks like it’s the mid figure double millions at a minimum.

    Edison Reply:

    They are offering their 2014 products(McLaren Store) with no title sponsor in.

    [Reply]

    H.Guderian Reply:

    Acording to my sources…..

    SANTANDER

    [Reply]


  17.   17. Posted By: Cos
        Date: February 4th, 2014 @ 2:34 pm 

    As is often the case with a winning formula, it’s not usually just one person but a team of talented folks working behind the scenes.

    Could it be that Christian Horner wants to hang onto Peter Prodomou because he will be taking all those years of experience / know-how with him when he finally walks?

    OR…with the change in rules this year, such as no rear blown diffuser etc..maybe there’s not alot he can take with him as many teams are starting with a clean sheet so to speak?

    On a side note..leaving aside the asthetics, I hope McLaren do much better this year…and this inturn leads to sucess in 2015 with the rebirth of the famous pairing with Honda.

    [Reply]


  18.   18. Posted By: zombie
        Date: February 4th, 2014 @ 3:22 pm 

    I am surprised nobody has brought this up yet, but why did Horner stop Prodromou;s move to Mclaren when RBR has Newey ? I can only think of 2 reasons : 1. Adrian Newey will finally bow out of F1 and start working on boats for the Americas Cup. 2. RBR’s 2014 car is proving to be challenging, and hence the reluctance to let go such a senior staff.

    [Reply]


  19.   19. Posted By: Alpha16
        Date: February 4th, 2014 @ 3:42 pm 

    If Prodromou stays at Red Bull he will still be in Neweys shadow!

    I think more then money people want to grow and the want the opportunity to grow and with Newey around theres not much room for Prodromou to grow.

    At Mclaren on the other had he might find the opportunity and the room to grow!

    Ultimately i’m guessing he wants to be his own Newey!any self respecting man would want too!

    So I’m finding hard to imagine how Red Bull could persuade him to stay other then offer him
    the opportunity to replace Newey in the short to medium term!

    [Reply]


  20.   20. Posted By: goferet
        Date: February 4th, 2014 @ 5:24 pm 

    Well now, I guess we finally have the evidence that the Red Bull machine isn’t all thanks to Newey for if this were so, the team wouldn’t try to hold onto Peter Prodromou.

    I guess this saga (as is usually the case) was simply a money dispute. Peter wanted a raise and Red Bull were dragging their feet and so he forced their hard by signing up with Mclaren.

    In addition, seeing as Peter was Newey’s right hand man, Red Bull must have been worried about the possibility of transfer of intellectual property to the competition and so a spanner was thrown in the move.

    Anyway, will be interesting to see what changes new boss Eric rolls out at Mclaren and whether he would be a better strategist on the pitwall compared to Whitmarsh.

    [Reply]

    Voodoopunk Reply:

    “Well now, I guess we finally have the evidence that the Red Bull machine isn’t all thanks to Newey”

    If anyone thought it did, then they’re rather daft.

    [Reply]


  21.   21. Posted By: Allan
        Date: February 4th, 2014 @ 6:07 pm 

    Interesting article and if one person knows what he is doing its Ron Dennis.

    I have read he was very frustrated over the last 3 years at mistakes and not making the most of having he fastest car (just like Kimi in the very fragile newey designed Mc).

    I hope for F1′s sake we have a great season with great racing and McLaren will have a plan if Peter stays at RBR although I have heard he does want to leave.

    James – quick question – what have you heard about Sony, McLaren and Lotus trying to scupper, I hear from a friend in Japan that Sony wnat to wait for Honda but how true I don’t know?

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    I don’t think there will be a title sponsor in 2014

    [Reply]

    Sean Reply:

    There’s A LOT of ad space on the McLaren up for grabs.

    Surely they won’t start the season with MP4-29 splashed all over the rear wing and sidpods, and a plain black front wing.

    [Reply]

    zombie Reply:

    Sony ? Last heard their corporate bonds were downgraded to junk status. It is a struggling company and can do well without pouring millions into F1 sponsorship .

    [Reply]

    Allan Reply:

    Heard it was PS4 related which has a budget for marketing of some £500m in the next 2 years along to make sure it beats the xbox 1. This story will rumble on and on I’m sure

    [Reply]


  22.   22. Posted By: Richard
        Date: February 4th, 2014 @ 7:22 pm 

    This Magnussen dude is a pretty cool one.

    [Reply]


  23.   23. Posted By: Darren
        Date: February 4th, 2014 @ 7:53 pm 

    James

    Am I alone in thinking that maybe Mclaren have showed their hand too soon by debuting their new rear suspension. At this extra early first test. With the extra time afforded the other teams they now have time to work on their own solutions… Wouldn’t it be better to pull a red bull and reveal it at the last test…. Maybe have a fake rear end for the frst few tests.

    [Reply]

    Jonathan Reply:

    you assume that the McLaren rear suspension is the finished article and not a red herring. It could be sufficient to allow the car to work well enough in early tests. If the whole car is dependant on the principle then they would need an early iteration of the principle to get the car to work. In this case the other teams can see the principle but may not be able to incorporate it in their cars.

    Only time will tell.

    [Reply]


  24.   24. Posted By: Garrett Bruce
        Date: February 4th, 2014 @ 8:56 pm 

    It’s good to have updates/insights such as this one from James’ pen.

    F-1 is a business and business involves not only productivity and results it is all about politics, especially at the top no matter what one would like to believe. Unfortunately the outward appearences and the apparent treatment of individals can give the “human” side of the equation a negative spin. And, no matter what, the “real” goings on behind the scenes may or may not be reflected in the “public” results and much speculation results.

    For example, we’ve recently seen the “financial” issues at the Genni team generate a number of interesting public outcomes and related speculation as to the future of that team.

    What actually went on behind the scenes at Mercedes which ultimately led to the departure of Ross Brawn and now his “retirement” from F-1 can only be speculative as well.

    As pointed outin the responses from readers above, the previous nine years that Ron Dennis “managed” things only resulted in one set of championsips and ultimately ended with the spygate fall-out and a one hundered million fine from the FIA which apparently generated the McLaren reorganization which put Dennis on the “sidelines” for a while. The current piece of that “story” is the apparent engineering of a return to grace and the resulting fall-out.

    While the human side of every one of these circumstances is a “cost of doing business” we all live with smilar circumstances in our individual orbits and only a very few in the world have their orbits high enough for anyone to see.

    The positive view is to look to the future and wish everyone involved the best possible outcome. Mom and Dad always maintained that, no matter what the current picture, things would always turn out for the better. And, from ths end of the road, they were right.

    [Reply]


  25.   25. Posted By: Dave
        Date: February 5th, 2014 @ 9:07 am 

    JA,
    What does all this mean for Sam Michael’s role with Mclaren?
    Cheers.

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    He’s safe as far as I can see.

    His job is Sporting Director, means he deals with the rules and the strategy etc – not the technicals and not the politicals

    [Reply]


  26.   26. Posted By: kenneth chapman
        Date: February 5th, 2014 @ 12:02 pm 

    many good comments voiced in this thread but it is a truism the the higher one goes in any organisation the more dangerous it gets. F1 is a business masquerading as a sport and life in business is tough. you either ante up the goodies or you are literally ‘dead meat’.

    there are of course other contributing factors but overall performance is 99.9%. it is easy to speculate about the possible scenarios but unless anyone is actually on the inside then there is no way of knowing the entire story about the whitmarsh/dennis supposed imbroglio.

    whatever the outcome/fallout i am sure that mclaren know what they are doing and at the end of the day that is what counts. you are only as good as your last season or even your last race result! hopefully we will see a re emergence of this fine team as a genuine challenger for the top step. it is about time.

    [Reply]


  27.   27. Posted By: Peres Mircea
        Date: February 6th, 2014 @ 5:29 pm 

    James, what is with this Mclaren Academy. I thought that it’s like Ferrari’s academy which selectes 4-5 drivers, and Ferrari is taking care of them like Bianchia and Marciello, guiding them towards the sharp end of motor sport, but Mclaren’s Academy it’s a waste of time, it does not select or takeing care of a number of young drivers for Mclaren’s benefit, for future stars arisen from Mclaren Young Driver Programe. Mclaren’s Academy trains and prepares them for their future carrer, but not a word about this young drivers as future Mclaren proteges. Do you have some informations that Mclaren put an eye on some young driver from last year’s Mclaren Performance Academy or that they want to take care about some young driver?

    [Reply]

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