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Sweets leave bitter taste at McLaren

NEWS STORY
22/06/2018

As McLaren is linked with a $20m bid for the service of Daniel Ricciardo, workers at the team's Woking HQ complain they are finding their life at the legendary British team a lot less rewarding.

Just days after McLaren issued a brief statement denying (former boss) Martin Whitmarsh's claim that there is unrest within the team, workers have contacted a British tabloid voicing their fears and grievances.

Among other things, they complain that their reward for extra-long shifts and "sweating blood" was a chocolate bar.

"The management hand them to the supervisors to divide them out to employees in their team. Strictly one each," one employee is quoted as saying of the Freddo chocolate bars by Sportsmail.

"The Freddos are handed out when a package is produced on a tight schedule," added the employee. "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."

Claiming that in a bid to improve the MCL33 engineers have been called on to build wooden prototypes of anything that might improve the car, the source said: "That shows how clueless they are.

"They told us at the post-Canadian Grand Prix debrief that they knew what was wrong with the car but not how to fix it," they added. "They ask us when they are on six-figure salaries.

"We call four of the management the 'Untouchables', they revealed.

"There is Eric Boullier, 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."

Reacting to the claims, McLaren is quoted as telling Sportsmail: "McLaren has one of the most loyal and long-serving staff in the entire motorsport industry.

"Our team leaders are free to reward their staff with spontaneous, thoughtful and fun gifts whenever they feel that a job or task is worthy of extra recognition and reward. This was just such an example, alongside so many others that happen on a daily basis."

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1. Posted by harilal1, 25/06/2019 9:58 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 25/06/2019 10:18)

"This comment was removed by an administrator as it was judged to have broken the site's posting rules and etiquette."

Rating: Neutral (0)

2. Posted by TokyoAussie, 26/06/2018 4:27

"Astounding story, if true, which I fear it is. Surely, they can mix up the chocos a bit, and not just go with a Freddo. And maybe even stretch it for a chocolate eclair (or even 2) if the team ever wins another point."

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3. Posted by f1khun, 23/06/2018 6:29 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 25/06/2019 10:18)

"@equator180
Mutiny starts when the captain has been perceived to be unable to keep the ship on course and even worse, when the captain is driving the ship "off a cliff".
If all was managed well, no mutiny would be there; instead there would be discussions in those debriefs with results that both upper and lower level will be happy with.
Remember, if you work in the F1 department at McLaren, then you're not some kind of dummy; You have something of value to offer to that company. But if that company changes course so many times without even showing proper in-house-built progress, then Something Is Wrong.

This has been going on since long, but what always disturbed me, especially last year, is that Alonso could not be stopped by McLaren management to mock Honda, and that McLaren kept saying that they had THE BEST Chassis out there. Clearly, 2018 with Renault power, is showing that they do not.

In my company, I lead a lot of people. That only works because I am honest and transparent (no BS), that I (always try to) do my part to the highest levels that I can, and that I am available for anyone to discuss (needless discussions are cut off but listening to your crew can be refreshing at times).

I make sure that I coach my crews so that they can do their job to the best of THEIR abilities, because in the end, we are ONE team. McLaren clearly is split in Ownership, Upper Management and "The Rest". That's not easy on those "The Rest", if the upper side is clueless about how to achieve the desired and needed improvements.

At this time, I think the F1-part of McLaren has no real sales value, contrary to Force India..... "

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4. Posted by equator180, 23/06/2018 3:49

"Sounds like the average worker thinks they should be running the show and making way more money than they are. Maybe the longest serving crew actually should be put out to pasture. The cry babies should definitely be let go, full stop! Then if you want to cry to the media go ahead. Granted, perhaps there should be a management change or replacements but for the average worker to try and dictate policy, no, they have to go. The captain runs the ship, every crewmen can't be the captain. "

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5. Posted by ClarkwasGod, 22/06/2018 18:12

"Apologies"

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6. Posted by ClarkwasGod, 22/06/2018 17:45 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 25/06/2019 10:18)

"This comment was removed by an administrator as it was judged to have broken the site's posting rules and etiquette."

Rating: Neutral (0)

7. Posted by ClarkwasGod, 22/06/2018 16:34 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 25/06/2019 10:18)

"All just very sad. I suspect the owners will be getting the knives out soon for senior heads, if all this is true (which for a Daily Mail story must be a "firsf"!!!)"

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8. Posted by Rock Doc, 22/06/2018 14:58

"Notice how the McLaren response is not actually a denial, just the spin to hide to facts. They are not denying it happens or that the feelings of the staff are reaching the end of their limit.

But that has me thinking, my son has just been making his KubKar for scouts. They have to carve a car out of a block of wood as well and race them down a sloping track. May be he can get a job at McLaren. He will certainly work for chocolate. "

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9. Posted by Spindoctor, 22/06/2018 12:00

"Shocking news.
FQITW is right that Ron must take some responsibility for the poor performance, but this level of disillusionment and discontent is entirely down to the new bosses.
Leaderless, rudderless & clueless, and consequently sponsor-less, title-less and soon to be star driver-less.

O how the mighty are fallen - is McLaren the new Williams? - discuss"

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10. Posted by Batman, 22/06/2018 11:09

"This is a Joke? I mean, if this is a real scenario in a team like MacLaren, the only words tha came to me are ... SHAME ON. What kind of society do tolerate this? Well, I know an old saying that says something like ... all that glitters is not gold. I think I'll change my point of view about what McLaren really is. "

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11. Posted by FQITW, 22/06/2018 11:03

"This is just so sad.
You really do not know what to say. Even if denials are issued there has to be a good deal of truth in the matter and for it to have come to this is unprecedented for any team, most of all for McLaren.

I did notice on one of the other posts on Pitpass that it is Twenty years since McLaren’s last Constructors title. I always knew in the back of my mind it had been quite a while but TWENTY years is staggering.

Whilst I have no time for Zak Brown in fairness it must be pointed out that Ron & Martin Whitmarsh must take some of the ‘blame’ for the lack of results although in their defence they are true racing people something which the current leaders are not.

I do not know the solution to all this or when they will eventually run out of money and the will to compete, but I can see McLaren becoming just another tech company who happen to make road cars in the end.

I hope I will be proved totally wrong.
"

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12. Posted by @R1Racing71, 22/06/2018 11:03

"They are beginning to sound like a normal work place after all!"

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13. Posted by timekeeper, 22/06/2018 10:27

"No surprises - they have been corporatized. At least in IT I used chocolate fish and pineapple lumps."

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