McLaren: Whitmarsh comments "ill-judged" and "ill-informed"

20/06/2018
NEWS STORY

Speaking earlier this week, former McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh revealed that shortly after Zak Brown took control of the team, he had been approached by members of staff at the Woking team concerned at the direction in which the legendary outfit was heading.

Referring to a letter that was to be sent to him, Whitmarsh told the Daily Mail: "I told them not to send it to me, but to Mansour," he said, referring to shareholder Mansour Ojjeh, who remains a close personal friend.

Attending the Spanish Grand Prix last month, Whitmarsh took the opportunity to voice his concerns to Ojjeh.

"I piled in a little bit," he told the Mail. "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," he added. "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," continued. "They are disappointed with what is happening and remonstrate with me."

In a brief statement issued to Sky Sports F1 Report, a spokesperson for the ream refuted Whitmarsh's claim.

"Martin worked for McLaren for many years, but has been outside the business for some time and is not part of our future," it reads. "What he said was ill-judged and ill-informed in our view but he is entitled to his opinion.

"There are high expectations in the team and we won't compromise those high expectations," the statement continued. "Everyone at McLaren is working tremendously hard and is focused on the future, not the past."

Of course, the refusal to focus on the past doesn't apply when it comes to little things like liveries.

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Published: 20/06/2018
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