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McLaren seeks pawn sacrifices: the beginning of a new era

McLaren is looking for pawn victims
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Z very much chassis project manager Tim Goss, now team boss Eric Boullier. Operations leader Matt Morris no longer appears in the management organization chart. McLaren changes its management team. The crisis claims its first victims. Or should one better say pawn sacrifice? McLaren director Zak Brown stands behind his team, praises their qualities and claims that it is not due to the people involved, but to the structures. Nevertheless, people are on the hit list. That is somehow a contradiction.

The structures that made McLaren grow into an authority are responsible for others than those that have now had to resign. They were made in the era of Ron Dennis. And they were never really abolished. McLaren has lived on its own planet since then. On one that says: “Not invented here.” Translated, this means: Only what is invented in-house is good. For years there was a mistaken belief that the best chassis could be built. Only the engine was to blame that it wasn't enough for the earlier exploits. In the meantime, even the team management admits that this was probably a misconception.

McLaren boss Zak Brown now also admits: “We didn't have the best chassis last year. And the current car has less downforce than the one in 2017. 'The 46-year-old American concludes:' We have to change our structures. We have a lot of good people who can't show their talent. The decision-making processes are too long. Internal communication is stuck. And we also need external expertise in order to get to know new ways of thinking. ”

Structure is to blame, not the people

Zak Brown sees the failure in his team as a lack of stability. In the past ten years, many team bosses and shareholders have come and gone. No success story can be written on this basis. Isn't the renewed change in management a continuation of this chapter?

Eric Boullier is now being replaced by a management trio. The new sports director is the ex-racing driver Gil de Ferran, who tried his hand at BAR with moderate penetration from 2005 to 2007 and then split up with the team by mutual agreement. What a hackneyed phrase.

Simon Roberts, who was once responsible for components for McLaren customers, will head the development department. The new head of technology on the track is Andrea Stella, formerlyFernando Alonso's race engineer. De Ferran is also an Alonso confidante. The Brazilian coached the Spaniard on his Indy 500 adventure.

Brown announced that further personnel changes would follow, both internally and externally. The recent measures are the first step towards a better future, according to Brown. “More will follow.” The question of whether a management trio has more impact than a strong personality at the top must be allowed in this context. McLaren has suffered from a leadership weakness since the time of Ron Dennis. There is no organizing hand. Williams feels the same way. That is why the other traditional British racing team is following behind.

IndyCar plans put on hold

Does Alonso have to put his IndyCar plans on hold?

You can't be good team bosses just like that buy or grow at the market. There are hardly any managers left with format, experience and assertiveness. Also because most of the team bosses are only employees. The team boss, who also owns his team, is increasingly dying out. Is it coincidence or is it on purpose? The new constellation at McLaren raises the suspicion that the real boss at the racing team is Fernando Alonso.

The Spaniard's most recent laudation on his team only allows the conclusion that a driver is speaking who wants more than just driving. Alonso recently regularly reminded the critics of McLaren that they had increased by 400 percent over the previous year and that they had started from zero to 44 points. Zak Brown couldn't have sold his team any better. Isn't it being swept under the table that the MCL33 is aerodynamically inefficient and only works to some extent when the rear wing is fully pushed to the limit stop? It would be better to be clear about this.

Brown has to keep the shareholders happy and buy his time. He does so by saying, “This situation did not arise overnight, and it will not be resolved overnight. How long does it take? Two years, ten years, something in between. ”McLaren no longer wants to be the announcement world champion in the future. Too often one has stumbled upon goals that are too ambitious. That's why Brown uses the modifiedThe season goal is deliberately low: 'We want to be involved in the fight for fourth place, but we know that it will be difficult with the existing material.'

The question is how much patience the donors can still muster. If he doesn't put an end to the failures, Mansour Ojjeh and the Bahraini sovereign wealth fund could turn the tap off. You are already applying pressure. Brown's plan to join an IndyCar team from 2019 has been put on hold for the time being. McLaren should concentrate on Formula 1, according to the order from above.

That in turn puts McLaren in trouble. The team management has to fulfill Alonso's every wish, even if it is a break at the IndyCars. All of the top drivers McLaren has contacted so far have shown only moderate interest. No wonder with a trend that tends to point downwards to upwards. So Alonso has to stay under all circumstances. That could work with his friends in the executive office.


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