After the slump of 2013 the winds of change have been howling through McLaren as the famous British team look to rebound.
The biggest change came as Group Chairman Ron Dennis inserted himself back in the position of CEO ousting the man who had replaced him, following his stepping down in 2008, Martin Whitmarsh.
Since then the 66-year-old has completely restructured the management structure at the Woking team, hiring former Lotus boss Eric Boullier as Racing Director alongside Managing Director Jonathon Neale as well as making the position of CEO at McLaren Racing – one that has yet to be filled.
Since his apparent departure no-one has seen or heard from Whitmarsh as it is believed he is remaining out of the public eye while he settles his payout package, however Dennis did finally make some reference to his successor and now predecessor, for whom some believe was too nice to run an F1 team effectively.
“Martin is a friend,” Dennis told reporters including GMM. “We did not fall out. Some decisions you take in life are not that easy, and I will not elaborate.”
However Dennis’ evaluation of the working atmosphere under Whitmarsh was quite scathing.
“Of course, I have a lot of respect for the people in our team but they were distracted, not focused enough,” he added.
During Whitmarsh’s tenure McLaren lost one of it’s young prodigies in Lewis Hamilton and it’s title sponsor in Vodafone, the team will also be making the switch from Mercedes to Honda power in 2015.
Though the man who replaced Hamilton, Sergio Perez, has since been replaced by Kevin Magnussen for 2014, Dennis does admit to have some reservations over the son of former driver Jan Magnussen.
“I’m not a great believer in sons of drivers,” he added, but Dennis believes Kevin’s “steely determination” will result in “an exceptional career”.
And on the topic of a new team sponsor, the man who is known for his eloquent speeches had an interesting comparison for his team.
“I strongly believe we are (like) Manchester United,” he said.
“Inevitably, when you have a run of poor results, people push the rate card down.
“But I know what this company is and what this Grand Prix team can achieve, and that requires the correct recognition from and close relationship with a principal sponsor,” said Dennis.
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