Sweets leave bitter taste at McLaren


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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Published: 22/06/2018
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