Formula 1


McLaren staff member rages after being offered a farcical 'bonus'

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Given the recent internal turmoil at Mclaren, one might think that team chiefs would be acutely sensitive to the feelings of their staff at the moment.

After all, it was reported just last week that staff were on the verge of mutiny - demanding the return of former team principal Martin Whitmarsh having lost all confidence in current racing director Eric Boullier. However, the latest "bonus" offered to staff will hardly have done much to repair relations between the two sides.

According to the Daily Mail, bosses at the Woking-based sides headquarters handed out a single chocolate bar to each of its employees this week as a token of appreciation for their hard work ahead of last month's Spanish Grand Prix.

Despite the side having an annual budget of some £200 million, the confectionery dished out to its workforce has a value of just 25p per bar. Unsurprisingly, staff were outraged.

"We have been working all hours of the day, sweating blood, and they give us 25p Freddo bars," said one employee, who understandably wants to remain anonymous.

"The management hand them to the supervisors to divide them out to employees in their team. Strictly one each."

"The Freddos are handed out when a package is produced on a tight schedule. For example, we were given two weeks to produce the Spain upgrade package in May.

"We all worked 24/7 to meet the deadline. We got it done in time. So a week later a Freddo was handed out to all staff involved as “a bonus”. Supervisors are embarrassed to hand them out."


"We also got a Freddo last year after building the car," explained the disgruntled team member, revealing that this was not the first time that the miniature Cadbury's treat - popular amongst young children - had been used to reward the team.

The anonymous worker also blasted the team's management, mocking the effectiveness of team debriefs and describing the overall atmosphere as being toxic.

"We call four of the management the 'Untouchables'. There is Eric Boullier, racing director, Matt Morris, chief engineer, Simon Roberts, chief operating officer, and David Probyn, operations director.

"Some of them just walk about chatting. We have no respect for them. People are beginning to boycott the debriefs because they are a joke. The atmosphere is toxic. We would like to go on strike but people fear for their jobs." 

F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain - Previews

McLaren enter this weekend's French Grand Prix 166 points adrift of championship leaders Mercedes.

The beleaguered team has not won a single race since 2012 and are without a championship victory since Lewis Hamilton's 2008 triumph.

Although reports have surfaced this week of a potential big-money swoop for Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren would also be well served to invest time and resources in restoring harmony within its internal make-up before next season - and the ridding of chocolate bars from its bonus structure would seem a starting point.

Eric Boullier
Fernando Alonso
Lewis Hamilton
Red Bull
Formula 1

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