McLaren's dismal display in Canada apparently added fuel to the fire among the staff of the British outift, whose patience is said to be running out. What triggered the personnel, according to the Daily Mail, was Eric Boullier's resigned post-race debrief, dealing with the MCL33's nearly unexplicable torrential loss of performance.
The staff are reportedly demanding Whitmarsh's takeover and it is not the first time the figure of McLaren's former team principal has been mentioned to rebuild the crippled outfit. Martin Whitmarsh and the Woking-based company parted ways in 2014, 6 months before the debut of the newly-reborn McLaren-Honda led by Ron Dennis, and later became chief executive of Olympic yachtsman Ben Ainslie's America's Cup challenge. However, the Briton is nowhere close to leaving his beloved racing, as he is part of the FIA Formula E global advisory board and in late 2017 he has been asked by the FIA to be their consultant regulation-wise.
Whitmarsh declared he is still close to McLaren from the bottom to the top, and revealed he has recently held a conversation with Mansour Ojjeh.
“I piled in a little bit” he said, as the Daily Mail reports “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."
The 60-year-old pinpointed McLaren's current situation, which is currently leaning on pushing the boundaries to further racing dimensions, with the latest one being the project of a full-time IndyCar season. Zak Brown appears to have lost his focus on the F1 campaign, which requires a remarkable amount of attention and concerns at the moment, not only on the commercial side. His forward-looking approach works in favour of Fernando Alonso's career, building a plan B -if not even a plan C- to keep the Spaniard's motivation at its peak.
However, McLaren is now a midfielder with a top team approach, which would need the whole outfit to be reshuffled in a constructive way to literally put it back on track. Whitmarsh mentioned the excessive politics in the management, which Brown has been trying to reduce with a recent reorganisation of the McLaren Group.
The Briton reacted to one of McLaren's technical directors being ditched two months ago: “Tim Goss’s departure pitched me over the edge. -continued Whitmarsh- 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.”
Once again, the discordance between the top-team status and the midfielder identity is striking. McLaren's no-blame culture was represented by its horizontal structure in the technical department, which was established to make sure that a single-person loss would not be a detriment to the whole team. But the whole approach has now turned into the opposite with Tim Goss's lay off.
Whitmarsh also said he would be willing to help the team, if a delegation got in touch with him. Having an all-round F1 man back, who knows the team well, would create a stimulating environment to focus on the F1 challenge and cut down on any superfluous superstructures.