McLaren are reportedly facing a ‘revolt from disgruntled staff’ who want former team boss Martin Whitmarsh back at the helm as the team’s on-track woes continue.
Although McLaren’s swap from Honda power to Renault engines ahead of this year’s championship was billed as the stepping stone for a return to glory days, the team is completely out of the title fight with just 40 points from seven races.
Their best result of this season is Fernando Alonso’s P5 from Australia while they have failed to score in the last two races.
And the staff are not happy.
According to the Daily Mail, ‘patience broke earlier in the week when racing director Eric Boullier led the usual post-race debrief in the Woking factory at which it was admitted they were at a loss to explain the car’s lack of performance.
‘Members of the shop floor were so furious at what they saw as the incompetence of their leaders that they plan to enlist Whitmarsh’s support as a last-ditch attempt to help turn around the ailing team.’
And this is not the first time that staff have tried to enlist Whitmarsh’s help given his close ties to McLaren shareholder Mansour Ojjeh.
Whitmarsh told the Daily Mail that some time in the past 19 months, the time since Zak Brown was brought in as the new boss, “people at McLaren said they would send me a letter about the situation. I told them not to send it to me, but to Mansour.”
He’s also had his own chat with Ojjeh about McLaren’s troubles.
“I piled in a little bit,” he said. “I love the team and I am desperately sad to see what it has become.
“It needs a big change of approach. There is too much politics between the main figures. I think a number of them have to go. I have explained my view to Mansour and it is for the shareholders to decide what to do.
“The team used to be all about winning in Formula One. Now they are looking at other avenues — going to race in IndyCar and Le Mans, for example. They are great things in themselves, but McLaren going in that direction, rather than making grand prix racing their sole priority, makes me shudder.
“I live locally and I bump into friends who work at McLaren. They are disappointed with what is happening and remonstrate with me.
“Tim Goss’s departure pitched me over the edge. Tim has a fantastic intellect, and is a hard-working, non-political, value-adding member of the team. He was scapegoated. He may not have all the answers, but he would work on a solution from first principles.”
Whitmarsh says he is open to helping McLaren rediscover their lost form, they only have to ask.
“If a delegation showed up at my door, I wouldn’t turn them away,” he added. “They know where I am.”