“McLaren want Martin, Lewis and Jenson for the long term”
McLaren
Posted By: James Allen  |  20 Jul 2011   |  11:47 am GMT  |  140 comments

McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale today said that talk of team principal Martin Whitmarsh being at risk of losing his job is laughable and underlined that the team wants to secure the services not only of Whitmarsh but of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button as well for the long term.

It’s been a turbulent period for McLaren, with suggestions that both drivers have made enquiries about opportunities at Red Bull, Lewis Hamilton saying that he’s not willing to do as much sponsor promotional work and then a messy British GP weekend, where Jenson Button’s race was ruined by a pit stop error and Hamilton was out on a risky strategy which meant he had to slow down excessively later in the race to save fuel.

After the weekend there were suggestions in the newspapers that Whitmarsh’s job was on the line. Clearly there are some outside forces piling pressure on Whitmarsh, trying to destabilise his team and also his role as chairman of the Formula One Teams Association ahead of the upcoming Concorde Agreement negotiations. But there is no sense coming from McLaren insiders that Whitmarsh is on thin ice. Former team boss Ron Dennis has moved on to road cars now, a key growth area for McLaren for the future and there is no obvious successor agitating in the background.

“Martin has done a fantastic job for McLaren and FOTA, up until last weekend we were the only ones putting up a credible fight against Red Bull,” said Neale during a Vodafone phone in session with F1 sites this morning. “I think a lot of people behind us on the grid, whilst they might be looking at the heat we get in the press, wouldn’t mind a bit of the action we get.

“I’m afraid it’s just part of the media circus and expectation, caught in the home Grand Prix if you’ve got to deliver and we didn’t, you’ve got to expect a bit of comeback.

“We want Martin, Lewis and Jenson here for the long term.”

There have been suggestions that Whitmarsh’s role as chairman of FOTA has led to him occasionally taking his eye off the ball at Woking. Neale denied this and said that Whitmarsh has juggled his two responsibilities so successfully that he’s been asked to do a second year at the FOTA helm, for which he must have had the blessing of McLaren shareholders and sponsors.

When I asked him to reveal the succession plan for the McLaren team principal role, he declined.


Neale also said that at Silverstone McLaren was hardest hit by the one-off ban on off throttle diffuser maps, losing around 0.8s, compared to 0.2s for Ferrari and somewhere in between for Red Bull.

“We look forward to the return to the Valencia regulations this weekend,” said Neale. “We are not complacent about the progress that Ferrari has made on its car,” he added. “They have made steady progress over the last few races.”

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1

Hello, I just wanted to mention, I disagree. Your post doesn’t make any sense.

2

If Mclaren use the RBR strategy of refining a race car and not redesigning a new one each year then they would not need to play catch up whilst they try and fix all the new emerging problems. Each year it’s a new car and for the last 3 years Redbull have refined their design to near perfection. That would’ve been Whitmarsh’s call so I believe he is to blame. If you were to put Hamilton in a Redbull if wouldn’t be Vettel walking away with the title, it would be Hamilton. That team has bad strategy and awful calls on car design. They’re shooting themselves in the foot each year. Now I believe they’ve stopped doing this so hopefully for next season we’ll see a better car. Although the removal of the blown diffuser showed how bad that car is without it so maybe next year they’ll be screwed.

3

So far this season, the race management of the team has been below average. Lewis should have finished 2nd in Malaysia if the tyre he flat spotted in qualifying was rebalanced. Lewis could have won in Spain if they had pitted a lap or two earlier on their second pit stop. Lewis definitely should have been on the front row and definitely should have won in Monaco, you should never run once in Q3 in Monaco. McLaren should have had the fastest car in qualifying in Canada, it was beyond belief that this car qualified 5th and 7th. Lewis should have won in Canada. In Britain, Lewis should have qualified much higher than he did, should have been on a new set of options. This did cost Lewis a podium finish at least.

If I was running the Mclaren team, I would allow the drivers to personalise their own car. For example, if Lewis wants an oversteery car, he will get an overteery car. If Jenson wants a car with a smoother balance, he will get that. If Lewis likes a certain upgrade and Jenson doesn’t like the same certain upgrade, Lewis will get the upgrade, Jenson won’t. The No.1 driver in the team is the one who is the fastest. And, if Jenson comes up to me and said that I was treating him unfairly, I would say, “I am not treating you unfairly. I allowed you and Lewis from the start of pre-season testing to personalise your own cars. The decisions that you and your side of the garage have made has left you in the position that your in. Lewis is faster than you. You are just simply slower than Lewis. It is not my problem.” This McLaren team would be better if it was run in this way.

In conclusion, the World Championship would have a very different look if things went differently.

4

Martin Whitmarsh is a truly gifted manager. He’s not a hard man, but he’s intelligent, receptive and a grafter. End of. The driver line-up also is certainly no worse than any other on the grid. With one charger and one solid rear guard. They even seem to get along. My own view is that it is actually the core McLaren ethos that continues to hamper success. They’ve not been able to get beyond the RD era or influence. They’ve honed an emphatic belief that mathematic ‘fundamentals’ alone can conquer all…and this remains now; Martin has tried to soften it, but has not been able (allowed?) to soften it enough.

I’d really love to see a refocus on flair and fun, for McLaren to paint the roof of their tech centre bright Orange – put some sea lions in the lake and just let go of the controls a smidge. (Maybe not the sealions). If McLaren could somehow combine the best of their technical understanding with more of RB’s or Ferrari’s pizzazz and human passion – they’d be unstopable.

Can this happen whilst Ron is still present? Tricky.

5

I would suggest that wanting to keep both JB and LH on an on-going basis is a mistake. Whilst both are good/great drivers, they are just too different in terms of style and personal desire for the “type” of car that they are driving. As such, the car ends up being somesort of compromise which each driver then tries to adjust to keep himself happy.

I believe that they should put all their eggs into one basket/driver and design a car purely to meet the needs of their chosen Number1 driver : whomever that may be.

This would appear to be the best way to compete with Ferrari and RBR who, it would appear, are already designing their cars to primarily meet the needs of their respective preferred drivers ?

6

The question is who should be the preferred driver?

7

Ferrari controls its media output more than any other team. The access Mclaren F1 give to journalists is very refreshing.

8

Supposed to be a reply to post 9.

9

James,

Do you think the critisism levelled at Whitmarsh and Domenicali is fair? I think they have been doing perfectly good jobs but have simply been eclipsed by Redbull who have done a superb job so far this year.

Also, on some F1 forums people are speculating that Button is now the “favoured son” at McLaren and that the team may have fallen out of love with Lewis so to speak. Are you aware of anything that supports this notion?

10

It’s always been like this in F1. If you are not winning you take some pain. It’s closer at the front than it looks from the points tables. But if you’re not quite there and one team is getting all the moves right, a gulf opens up quickly. Stefano has more of a challenge controlling Ferrari than Martin does with McLaren for complex political reasons. I can’t see any reason for Martin not to be doing this job ten years from now. For Stefano this will be harder to achieve but he’s got his driver signed up for five years, so if he can make the technical team work around Pat Fry then he’ll survive.

11

I think Whitmarsh has done poor job of managing Mclaren Racing. Why?

If we go back to the Lewis Alonso line up, Fernando was seen as “number 1” hence the car was developed to his liking, even though Lewis eventually outclassed him. Teams have to make a conscious decision to built their car geared to wards one driver instead of the other. Lewis is fast driver who like a pointy car through the corners. Jenson on the other hand drives “with his finger tips”. So before Mclaren has hit the track they already have a fundamental problem at a design stage.

Until they decide to build a car that suites Lewis’s driving style rather than Jenson (a la Red Bull) Mclaren will continue to slide.

Whitmarsh strikes me as a corporate animal, who is more obsessed with the bottom line rather than sheer competitiveness, maybe I am wrong but I might not be far from the truth

To sum it all up “BRING BACK ELDORADO RON” 🙂

12

I wonder if James did his poll thing now about jenson staying at mclaren or moving to Ferrari how different the results would be. It must be 4 or 6 weeks ago now since that post. I bet it would be Ferrari winning that one now just like I said at the time. How things change.

13

And things will change again next year. Plenty of tales of drivers jumping ship to a team doing well who then produce a dog of a car the next year.

Also would he want to go to a team to be Alonso’s lap dog with no chance of the WDC?

14
rpaco (other rpaco)

Team fortunes always go in cycles, an accumulation of factors some of them tiny over a period coincide or add up and cause a downward wave. (Must look at results vs Elliot wave pattern)

As has been mentioned above, key people leaving the team have resulted in it moving in certain design directions, whereas had they stayed the car would most probably be different.

If one looks at the whole thing as an engineering project, there are an almost infinite number of things that can go wrong at any stage in the design, the manufacture, the assembly and the operation. Of course these flaws are minimised by using FMEA (failure mode effect analysis) but there is always something extra that occurs or something that makes a difference.

Just to give an example, take a plastic moulded part, there are at least ten things that can go wrong with a simple injection moulding, that’s after the design has been perfected.

Look at how long Schumacher was at Ferrari before they started winning, look at Williams now.

Whilst Neo (Adrian Newey who can see both the matrix and the airflow) remains at Red Bull they will be hard to beat, but McLaren will rise again.

15

Newey is a great designer, but his influence is overrated. Adrian Newey designed cars won 0 titles between 2000 and 2009. It’s as much down to the others not doing as well as they should. Ferrari got thrown off course when Todt, Brawn and Byrne left. McLaren look like they lack leadership and focus since Dennis stepped down.

16

Your arguement gives lots of credit to Horner as a team leader. It probably is right and may be McLaren should borrow a leaf or two.

17

just watching the t in the park highlights…. seb vettel playing guitar for blondies maria song in a pink stripped jersey?? -well done seb. good job man.

18

Hahaa Whitmarsh + Hamilton + Jenson to stay at Mclaren on a long term basis, now that’s a laugh – Fiction of the highest order.

That will never happen for something gotta give, either Whitmarsh starts producing rockets like yesterday or Hamilton walks & since Mclaren is now Jenson’s team (ahem Lewis was told to park it in Canada despite the fact his suspension wasn’t broken), he would take over the reigns & lead them through very dark years indeed.

There is no other way, besides Hamilton is the only driver on the grid that’s been in the sport 5yrs+ & hasn’t changed a team yet.

So yes, unfortunately this fairytale can’t end well. Mclaren helped Lewis put his foot through the door but now it’s time to say gracias and adios, we can’t have too many Brits in one team, that’s like having too many liberals running a government, No sir!

P.s.

Oh, I had a Lewis-F1 dream last night & when I usually have those, well Lewis goes ahead to win it. Watch this space…

19

You must have been watching a different Canadian GP to everyone else. The alternate reality where Hamilton’s suspension didn’t break.

Maybe it was just one of your dreams though.

20

PS. Quote from Whitmarsh:

“We took the decision to ask him to stop his car on the track, and our post-race inspection revealed that that was the correct choice: his suspension was damaged to such an extent that it would have been impossible to continue.”

No conspiracy there. I would say that Hamilton is still their star.

21

Man, where do you get your info?

Did you not see the angle of Hamilton’s wheel in Montreal? The suspension was definitely damaged. Sorry, no conspiracy there.

Too many Brits on one team? You do realize that almost all teams are packed full of Brits… and I’ve never heard of any other driver pairing since the advent of Formula One where it was even suggested that having two British drivers was ever a problem. For the most part, they tend to be pretty even-tempered drivers.

And since when do your dreams affect the outcomes of races? You do realize that people are more likely to remember positive instances of coincidences than negative ones, right? You are far more likely to remember the few times your dreams correctly predicted a race’s outcome, than remember the others where you were incorrect.

Do you dream of Lewis often? 😉

22

And your late predictions here have been awfully correct. Let’s think… you predicted a sunny and dry race in Canada “as any true F1 fan knows”. 😀 You also predicted a DNF for Alonso in Silverstone.;-)

Let’s wait and see how your Lewis-F1 dream prediction works.

23

When RD self ejected from Team Principle following the Max push and spygate I gave MW less time than it takes to argue a blown exhaust, but, (here comes the humble pie) I take my hat off to him, not only keeping the McLaren standards but keeping the team at the top, even if not in the number one slot.

As an F1 fan with no particular team loyalty the guy has done a tremendous job for McLaren and for FOTA which in turn benefits all F1 fans.

Top punt for 2012, no change of drivers or team principal at McLaren!

24

To be fair, it’s easy to make mistakes with a slower car than a a much faster cars. We don’t have all the facts, but many of McLaren’s mistake was driver’s own rather than Martin. I also wonder whether some of the rumors actually fermented within Team McLaren. Probably from Lewis’s camp if I am allowed to guess. Martin has a balanced approach to Button, this could make LH less comfy and that’s why he has been really edgy in racing.

25

Lewis to have the acumen to influence the press against Martin instead of himself? Lets face it, that is giving Lewis too much credit. Many on this blog claim he does not have the acumen to even figure out his own race strategy, so to turn around and give him the genius of turning the British media against one of their most loved F1 managers whilst that media has been doing a fair deal of slagging him since Monaco is abit ambitous.

I think it would be disruptive for the team to rid of Martin or even Lewis or Button for that matter. However, it cannot be denied that the team is shooting from less than all cylinders. There is evidence that senior engineering staff is leaving Woking and very little coming the other way. Martin unlike his Ferrari or Red Bull counterparts will not support his driver when he comes under public attack. Last year Alonso was very much in a similar situation with the Italian media as Lewis is with the British press. Admirably, the entire Ferrari team structure including LdM rallied behind the Spaniard and got him out of that dificult period. A year later, Ferrari extendeded his contract for what in F1 terms is forever. McLaren on the other hand have been a little passive in their support for Lewis.

In addition Martin has overseen some decisions this season (and last) that if he had managed better would have kept at least Lewis within striking distance of Vettel – the most curious being the late run in qualifying at Monaco earlier this season when they could probably have taken pole and won the race. Last year i complained on this blog of his loss of focus from winning the title to ensuring equality among team mates when he switched to ensuring that Button stays in the hunt at a time when Lewis was a title leader (i believe it was after Canada) – i remember declaring at that juncture that the title was lost because of that loss of focus; McLaren never recovered from that point on.

Its true Martin is a nice bloke infront of the cameras and a capable leader at FOTA – but unfortunately these are not the attributes that McLaren and its fans hold as high priority to their objectives right now. Some have come to his defense by aportioning blame to the rest of the team especially the drivers, engineers and even Ron Dennis. But again, these people don’t run the team – Martin does. I am sure if Martin were to run McLaren as well as he runs FOTA the team would have won a title by now – FOTA has proved that he has what it takes; he only needs to focus his exceptional skills and talents in the right direction.

26

I was thinking Simon Fuller Co as they are part of Lewis camp I suppose.

27

Its a bit too much of a far fetched grassy knoll theory for my liking.

If anyone had fanned the flames on this i’d put my money on someone with form for it, Bernie Ecclestone. He always likes to try and destabilise FOTA when theres a new concorde agreement due. He’s tried lots of tricks this season to try and break the alliance, maybe this is just another attempt.

28

While I have the greatest admiration for Ron Dennis I think many people look at his record through rose coloured glasses. In his last ten years as team principle for McLaren, they won two drivers championships and no constructors championships, a record that was beaten by Ferrari and even Renault. Ron’s best days at McLaren were during the mid to late 80’s when he had Prost, Lauda and Senna as drivers. After that the team hasn’t really performed all that well. He may have turned McLaren into an F1 and automotive superpower but McLaren under his rule also had lots and lots of bad years. Whitmarsh’s history is that he is an excellent manager and engineer. Give him time.

29

I doubt Ron would come back to run the McLaren F1 team – they would probably take somebody from outside for that role, may be Brawn since he is English and his own future has been questioned at Mercedes anyway (well at least in the last 12 months).

Of course McLaren can give Whitmarsh more time but with the road car project needing some technically oriented marketing and the F1 team having been without titles for over a decade as you mention, time is one thing McLaren may not have for Martin. Of course Brawn may also need time to win titles for McLaren but you get the feeling that Martin is too much of a McLaren man and as such, as long as he is still at the helm, the team’s record in the last decade is unlikely to improve for another 10 years.

30
Michael Prestia

I met Martin in Montreal at the Fan’s forum and got a picture taken with him. Listening to him speak, I fully get that he understands the importance of performance within the team but alos teh importance of how to improve the sport from a fan’s perspective. Even though I am not a McLaren fan I think losing him would leave a large hole in the paddock that not many could fill.

31

–Off Topic–

Regarding Alguersuari’s latest comments about preferring not to end up in Q2, would it be possible for him to use the same hard tires that he used in Q1 in Q2, and therefore potentially gain a place or two in Q2, yet not use up another set that he may need in the race?

We may see that happen in Germany if he miscalculates and ends up advancing to Q2.

32

I don’t think he prefers it. He’s just not fast enough in qualifying to get out of Q3. Otherwise I’m sure he would have done exactly what you or Jo said.

He just says so, to mask the fact that he (or the TR) is bad at qualifying.

33

Then why wouldn’t he simply say that? There’s nothing wrong with saying that the car races better than it qualifies. He’s scored points, so it’s not like it would insult anyone by saying they can’t make the car go fast on Saturday.

I think he would have actually said there was a problem if there was one. I, for one, believe they are using it as a strategy.

34

he can do that or even stay in the pits during Q2 altogether.

But drivers have 3 sets of prime compound and use only one in the race, so it would be stupid to save a set the driver won’t use in the race. He would certainly use a new set of option if he manages to qualify to Q2

35

True, but in that case, why not just go with a fresh set of primes then, and see how far you get, meanwhile saving the options for Sunday? Sure, you may not advance into Q2, and if you do, you won’t do well in Q2, but you’ll be set up well for Sunday.

Basically, my strategy would be to only use primes in qualifying, while still pushing hard. If others use the same strategy, it would be a waste to settle for 17th when you could still give it a go in Q2, even if you’re on primes.

36

Martin is very well respected by Ron by all accounts, and they have done relatively well of recent years.

I would personally like Martin to focus on Mclaren rather than fota, but he’s done a good job there.

Pat fry defecting to Ferrari was definitely a blow, and newey isn’t going anywhere.

I’d like mclaren to go aggressive on development and take a few more risks (much like pat said about Ferrari).

On a side note, it’s quite ironic that jensons stock has raised at Mclaren such that he might just sneak into what I thought was nailed on Lewis seat at redbull. Jenson in a newey design with loads of downforce. He’d be a great pick.

37

Whoa! Hadn’t thought of that.

That would make total sense if it weren’t for the fact that Button seems quite happy at McLaren.

Then again, a chance to hop into a top car? He’s already proven he’s able to get the measure of Hamilton at least some of the time… so going up against Vettel shouldn’t be much different. He would definitely have some serious thinking to do if that offer landed on the table.

38

Don’t forget just how good brawn thought Jenson performed when they had the car on the sweet spot at the start of 09.

He’s not able to perform as well as some others in a twitchy or bad car, but give him a great car like a redbull would be brilliant.

To be honest I hadn’t really thought about it, but jb is bright and I’m sure given the chance he’d jump at a redbull drive. And it would fit better with Mclaren really wanting to keep Lewis long term too.

Still Mclaren would be silly to let him go as he’s brought a calm to the team (Lewis as we know can be hotheaded if brilliant with it).

39

This also indicates that McLaren’s car is generally weak, with the exhaust blowing basically masking a poor car, a bit like the f-duct last year. They’re lucky they got away with copying Red Bulls before the first race or it would have been a shambles 2009-style. Ferrari have a better car, but haven’t incorporated exhaust blowing as well. The fact that Red Bull and Ferrari dominated Silverstone shows that they fundamentally have the two best cars.

40

No, no, no……….remember that Ferrari have the FOURTH quickest car, according to tifosi.

It makes the rivival look even more astounding & the No.1 driver the best on the planet.

Mind you, he is good!

41

The reason Mc Laren suffered more at Silverstone is because the exhaust blowing provides a higher proportion of the cars downforce as compared to Ferrari and RB. So I agree that the basic chassis is better at those teams.

The engine at mc laren is designed around the blown exhaust concept. Clearly they could not have copied red bull at the start of the season as the RB runs a completely different concept! They would have developed it last year.

42

Looks like McLaren are going to continue their slide towards mediocrity then with their average management team and drivers.

43

Keep some perspective please. Mclaren win races every year, their hit rate is 2nd to none having won 1 in 4 of the races they’ve competed in. Mclaren underperforming is coming 2nd in the constructors championship. Get real!!

44

So they’ve underperformed every year since 1999 then, and been worse than mediocre in the years they’ve finished 3rd, 4th and 5th (2004). That is mediocre for a team with their resources and facilities.

45

Boring essay answer. I’m not interested in excuses and ‘exotic heat proof materials being banned’. I just like watching racing and McLaren haven’t won as much as they should have in the past decade and a bit, exotic heat proof materials or not.

46

In the mid 2000s the team was bedding in at the new MTC. The magnitude if this task can not be underestimated. Getting the wind tunnels calibrated is an art form in itself and can take a couple of seasons to get spot on. Once they achieved this they resumed normal service. i.e. battling for the championship and with the exception of 2009 they’ve been right there battling at the sharp end consistently. Lets not forget, they’ve beaten Red Bull fair and square twice this year which is a record that is 100% better than the next nearest team Ferrari. Further to this, 2009 still saw Mclaren win races despite beginning the year with a poor car, in development performance terms alone this cannot be categorized as “mediocre”.

This year the late ban on exotic heat proofing materials during winter tests hurt both Mclaren and Mercedes, forcing them to compromise on the intended direction for their cars. Had MP4 26 been allowed to run in its intended configuration it may well have been much closer to the Red Bull. We shall never know but suffice to say that Ferrari were concerned enough that Mclaren had come up with something brilliant that it prompted them to have a whinge to the FIA to get certain hitherto commonplace heat proofing substances banned.

Yet still Mclaren are doing a better job. On balance so for this year Mclaren have given Ferrari a drubbing, we shall see where the pace lies when the OTB returns this weekend.

47

Agreed.

So far McLaren drivers have not exactly performed as they could be expected to. JB has been very good and stable, but not brilliant, and LH has made way too many mistakes.

However, while JB seems to be performing at the top of his game (i.e. best he can), I feel LH has seriously underperformed this year.

If he could discard his macho “go for it no matter what” image, calm down and start thinking like a mature racing driver, the results would probably come.

Can he do it – we’ll see.

In the meantime Martin has to shoulder responsibility for all of it – drivers, car, race strategy, behind-the-scenes rules battles. Remember Schumi saying during his glory days that Ferrari had every ingredient required for victory while everyone else had something missing?

McLaren only just hopped onto the EBR wagon, and LH (while potentially a championship winning driver) has underperformed this year. As a result MW is under fire…

48

There is something not right in comparing Lewis to Whitmarsh – for one Whitmarsh runs the team, Lewis doesn’t; Martin is the boss, Lewis is just a driver. As the boss, Whitmarsh endeavours to ensure everything is in place for all the varous parts of his team to operate at their very best – if one part does not deliver because another failed, the responsibility to fix that problem lies on the boss. Why? Because the varous parts dance to his tune and therefore he is the only one who really knows how the right tune should sound and who is going off key. Frankly, if Martin determines that Lewis is the weakest link, then Martin should kick his **** out of McLaren.

I remember Schumi’s explanation about why Ferrari was winning then. Only problem is i do not believe only one team on the grid should have all ingredients perfectly balanced. McLaren could just as well have all ingredients perfectly balanced too. What stops Martin from producing a car as good as RBR, and managing his drivers as well as Ferrari, getting his strategies right just the way Ross Brawn used to and be faster at pit stops than Horner’s pit crews?

49

Yeah I agree, Hamilton seems to be the same driver as he was in 2007. He clearly has the raw speed, but he still has as many, maybe even more, accidents than he did in 2007 and 2008. Perhaps it’s because his cars have been slower and he’s in the chasing pack more, but it still shows he’s a bit impetuous at times.

McLaren were lucky they copied Red Bulls exhaust before Melbourne which has masked what is actually a really poor car. Ferrari looked slow but they have a better car in general because even with a less sophisticated exhaust blowing they’ve been faster than McLaren since Monaco by developing the rest of the car.

I think it was Brundle who said the other week that if you go to McLaren’s factory you wonder how anyone could ever beat them because it’s so advanced. 1 drivers title since 1999 and 13 years since their last constructors win is a pretty poor return.

50

Average drivers? There are five world championships on the grid and two of them are in McLaren and you call those drivers average? Wow!

51

Slide towards….what!! [mod] A race winning Formula 1 team with two world champion drivers is hardly mediocre!

52

I totally agree it’s mediocre by Mc Laren’s very high standards but they as a team are no-where mediocre! Mediocre is Torro Rosso or Wiliams (regrettably). An mediocre by their standards are not what you said.

I agree they under perform though!

53

It is for the resources and the facilities they have. Brundle said that if you walk round their factory you wonder how anyone could ever beat them, it’s so advanced and space age. Yet they’ve won 1 drivers title and 0 constructors since 1999, that’s underperforming and mediocre by their standards. Renault have managed 2 drivers titles and 2 constructors in that time with less resources.

54

Lewis and Jenson,2 World Champions, mediocre?? Me thinks not.

55

I cannot see any reason for whitmarsh to go, that is just media speculation. Redbull have a happy Newey ( plus money) and that is why they are on top ( sure, they have a great driver line up as well.) As for Lewis and Jenson what I like about them is they are different drivers, and as often or not they end up running close together at the end of the race. Keep both for a long term deal would be great- especially Hamilton, he is special

56

I notice that Ron Denis has been around the paddock rather more this year than the recent past. Now his road car project is coming to an end and mad Max is off the scene I wonder if he feels he still has unfinished business and wants the reigns back.

57

Or maybe it has something to do with networking. If you want to find and sell expensive cars to cash rich sports car enthusiasts then surely that explains his presence at the races this year.

Also explains why he wasn’t at many last year, he didn’t have much to sell.

Don’t believe everything the tabloids tell you, unless of course they’ve hacked his phone.

58

Coming to an end. Far from it, there’s a new model aimed at the Porshe 911 market in the pipeline and a hypercar aimed at the Veyron on the drawing board too.

This isn’t a one off like the Mclaren F1. It’s a proper car manufacturer with plans to expand its range and establish a large marke share.

59

McLaren will soon be commencing deliveries of the MP4/12C the first car in a 3 car range & also just built a new factory for car production.

So how on earth can you say “now his road car project is coming to an end ?” its just the beginning!

60

So its the job of the executive chairman of McLaren Automotive and McLaren Group, and a significant shareholder in both companies to manage those specific aspects? If so then as I said perhaps he wants the reigns back on F1 as well. The point I was making is that he was hardly in the paddock 2009 & 10 but he seems to be there every time I watch TV this year! Why is that?….many reasons may be and taking back direct control could be one.

61

Or may be its just because he doesn’t get his driving licence back until September and he needs to travel on the company bus!

62

Or may be he just wants the F1 team to win titles because that would be the best marketing for his road cars.

63

In my humble opinion, Martin Whitmarsh needs to go, the time for him to go has come and go! There is no hope in hell that Mclaren will win any championship while he is still at the helm!

64

Fortunately F1 is not like football where the coach is always the first one to be fired even when he doesn’t have players to win games. In F1 performance is gauged over a number of seasons and as long as there’s measurable progress from season to season there’s no need to panic about team principle. Needless to say that his part of rather a interdependent structure so changing him won’t just bring about immediate miracles. As for Martin I don’t think any other person would have done significantly different from him in the past 2,5 seasons, most especially with so many regulation changes that we’ve seen there was always going to be 1 team dominating the season. History has show that it’s always a team that is a dark horse. Look at teams like Williams, Renault, Brawn GP (Honda) and now Red Bull, they all had a spell of average performance before their boom. When they started to win race after race it did not mean other team principles were all of a sudden incapable of leading their teams. It’s all about what the winning team has been working on in previous seasons leading their peak. So Martin’s season is coming so there’s no need to panic guys…

65

Broad….broad statement! Not sure you can back it up with facts though.

66

I am not a McLaren Fan but a huge fan of Martin…he is a class act.

67

Isnt expected that a non-McLaren fan would love Martin as he is not winning anything.

68

McL fan or not, winning or not has nothing to do with my view of MW…he is class act period.

He could win the next ten championships and Ferrari loose ten my view will not change.

69

+1 Whitmarsh brought class and some charisma to McLaren.

Dennis on the other hand took care of the road cars and produced a car to his image sadly.

71

It seems at times the F1 eats their young, sadly many who could have made a difference never where given the chance….tough…tough for sport form the top to the bottom.

72

“up until last weekend we were the only ones putting up a credible fight against Red Bull”

Seriously?? Ferrari have been putting up a credible challenge againt Reb Bull since Monaco, not Silverstone. This guy as a short memory..

73

McLaren need to get their heads from under their defensive blankets and out-develop rather than out-talk the other teams.

74

yeah totally, Ferrari have been faster than McLaren since Monaco anyway, it’s just that circumstances (e.g. wet race lottery in Canada) have stopped them showing it. Alonso thrashed both McLarens in Valencia and seeing as the engine maps were the same for qualifying as the race it suggests the Ferrari is a better all round car and they’ve developed it well.

75

I agree…. Although they made a mess of it in Canada, bad pit timing for Alonso, then he and Button played bumper cars, etc

in qualy they were right up there with Vettel

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