Martin Whitmarsh witch hunt

Who will be McLaren Team principal next season?


  • Total voters
    43
  • Poll closed .
Status
Not open for further replies.

Il_leone

Champion Elect
There appears to whispers or a witch hunt campaign to have Martin Whitmarsh replaced as team principal of Mclaren including the fact he and Ron Dennis don;t see eye to eye. The Daily Mail had an article saying Whitmarsh has 1 month to save his job as Ron Dennis might return.

After the cock-up at Silverstone where Lewis had not enough fuel and Jenson was missing a wheel nut some are suggestion Whitmarsh should be dismissed.

I am firm believer in continuity in F1 if you want to be successful its no secret why teams in the past had success because of continuity. I find this absolutely ridiculous against him because a) there was no dry run to take into fuel loads and Mclaren probably turned the engine up on full power to make up for quali b) the pit crew team's error but in high pressure situations it can happen when he has to put the wheel on in less than 4 seconds and it has happened to numerous other teams like Williams, Ferrari and Renault - no one called for their team principals to be sacked

Some people are so short sighted and havent realised Mclaren have won 2 races this season which a lot of other teams would trade for except Red Bull right now including mighty Mercedes. Some point to that Mclaren haven't won the constructors for 12 years but they fail to mention Whitmarsh has only been team principal for 2 seasons and a bit and the blame should be laid at Ron Dennis' door not Whitmarsh
 

jez101

Bookies drive nice cars because of people like me
Contributor
I think there are more than just whispers... It is fast approaching the sort of untenable position, that very few people can weather (Bernie being the exception) where the victim suffers death by a thousand cuts.

In Whitmarsh's case he seems to be missing the bullish leadership skills and personality to survive. He is a diplomat, not a politician so I doubt he can turn the tide. As for what difference that would make depends on who comes in. I fear Ron has too much history and the team would stay in the old routine.

I think what they really need is to take some of the shakles off and free their development programmes. Without testing, the methodical approach is vulnerable to inspired, imaginative solutions that work first time. McLaren really need to liberate that in the way that RBR obviously do. Newey is not a one man team, his genius is bringing the best out of team of hundreds, glued together by his vision.

Whitmarsh does not seem to be able to do that, and I doubt he will he given the time to change the culture, but I think any of the names above may not have the mix to be any better. As a result, Martin may stay until the end of the season and step side honourably when it is over.
 

Incubus

Champion Elect
Bottom line is, Whitmarsh doesn't design the cars. And what's more his current approach is basically the continuation of Dennis's vision when it comes to technical staff, which centres around the delegation of responsability among staff and each staff member able to switch freely from one role to another. Multi-tasking.
 

Incubus

Champion Elect
It would present great difficulties to implement but right now, the reality from me is that McLaren's technical evolution would greatly benefit from one of the drivers enjoying number one status... and having basically a car designed around him.

And what's more I think Whitmarsh is fully aware of this but finds himself in an impossible position.
Remember last year when he was at pains to publicly declare "Lewis and Jenson have similar driving styles", which smacked of PR because he knows damn well as we all do that this is obviously untrue for anyone with the power of sight, and anyway Bridgstone's data (as Bridgstone themselves claimed, and they should know that better than anyone) told a very different picture....

The fact is that for the past seasons, McLaren have had overall a history of a team that hasn't been succesful at implementing upgrades.

And with two drivers of such different driving styles, would it be surprising if car evolution suffered from being diluted as a result, with certain characteristics suiting one driver's style but but not the other, and vice-versa?
 
Whitmarsh has had his best shot, Ron has given him the rope to hang himself which he now has done

He has shot his bolt and benefit of doubt is now tardy at best

I have no doubt that moves are being made at board level to replace him, the question is whom with?

It's obvious that MW will withdraw from the team boss position to the strains of Frank Sinatras 'I did it my way' the only question is how quickly can McAlaren recover

Yes they have won 2 races this year, yes a lot of teams would love this, but this is McLaren we are talking about, arguably the greatest team in F1 to not have special benefits and help from the FIA, they are F1 nobility

The company that gave us the road car called the F1 as well as what's refered to as the best sportscar in the world the Mp4-12c

Whitmarsh might be a great boss for HRT but Mclaren cannot afford inspector Clouseau at the helm if the team has to market Ferrari and Mercedes beating road supercars
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
How the heck did Eddie Jordan come into this equation? And moreover he got some votes!

That really would transform McLaren's image
Tongue in cheek something the bookies would do you know

Anyone but Nick Fry or Flavio or Craig Pollock at Mclaren

Maybe I should have added Jean Todt for a laugh
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
It would present great difficulties to implement but right now, the reality from me is that McLaren's technical evolution would greatly benefit from one of the drivers enjoying number one status... and having basically a car designed around him.

And what's more I think Whitmarsh is fully aware of this but finds himself in an impossible position.
Remember last year when he was at pains to publicly declare "Lewis and Jenson have similar driving styles", which smacked of PR because he knows damn well as we all do that this is obviously untrue for anyone with the power of sight, and anyway Bridgstone's data (as Bridgstone themselves claimed, and they should know that better than anyone) told a very different picture....

The fact is that for the past seasons, McLaren have had overall a history of a team that hasn't been succesful at implementing upgrades.

And with two drivers of such different driving styles, would it be surprising if car evolution suffered from being diluted as a result, with certain characteristics suiting one driver's style but but not the other, and vice-versa?


Which is the problem they had with Raikkonen and Montoya trying to do two programmes for different driver set ups...MOntoya floundered though badly
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
Bottom line is, Whitmarsh doesn't design the cars. And what's more his current approach is basically the continuation of Dennis's vision when it comes to technical staff, which centres around the delegation of responsability among staff and each staff member able to switch freely from one role to another. Multi-tasking.

I'd totally agree but no one outside really knows except those working at Woking about whether WHitmarsh's leadership is effective

Therefore I do not see any value in Mclaren deciding to replace Whitmarsh now as all it causes is severe disruption and chaos with everyone else being shuffled

LAst i heard was Mclaren run a matrix structure where two teams take turns to design the car. Matrix structures do work in the right environment it just depends on how its done look at Ferrari's spaghetti culture where it seems to based on the occasional panic button and making scapegoats and drastic action.

People overlook that Mclaren are up against the best designer in the business - Adrian Newey who they let go in 2006 and who's cars have dominated F1 over the last twenty years and thank goodness Mercedes don't know what they are doing because if they did they should be letting Ross Brawn run the Mercedes team given his track record and being able to beat NEwey at Benetton and Ferrari with a well drilled team

Yes the designers at Mclaren are clever engineers but not as smart as Newey which people seem to fail to understand in designing cars.

For those who had a go at Whitmarsh for the pre season car...that was down to the hard work and research the designers did and tested in the wind tunnel unfortunately the actual results were different when it the car was rolled out

I see this finger pointing attitude pointless and Mclaren certainly aint gonna act like Ferrari and fire someone to prove a point thats not their style unless you upsetted Ron
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
Whitmarsh has had his best shot, Ron has given him the rope to hang himself which he now has done

He has shot his bolt and benefit of doubt is now tardy at best

I have no doubt that moves are being made at board level to replace him, the question is whom with?

It's obvious that MW will withdraw from the team boss position to the strains of Frank Sinatras 'I did it my way' the only question is how quickly can McAlaren recover

Yes they have won 2 races this year, yes a lot of teams would love this, but this is McLaren we are talking about, arguably the greatest team in F1 to not have special benefits and help from the FIA, they are F1 nobility

The company that gave us the road car called the F1 as well as what's refered to as the best sportscar in the world the Mp4-12c

The Mp4-12c is Ron's project and history shows when MClaren do road cars and dabble in other projects than F1 they do suffer under Ron's leadership..thats why they eventually exited sportscar /GT racing which were fitted with BMW engines

Whitmarsh has a tough act to follow but I don't see anyone else who can fill Ron's shoes except Ross Brawn but I don;t believe he and Ron see eye to eye. The only other person is Dave Richards but he is approaching 70 and would rather be his own boss than answer to ROn
Whitmarsh might be a great boss for HRT but Mclaren cannot afford inspector Clouseau at the helm if the team has to market Ferrari and Mercedes beating road supercars
 

Incubus

Champion Elect
LAst i heard was Mclaren run a matrix structure where two teams take turns to design the car. Matrix structures do work in the right environment it just depends on how its done look at Ferrari's spaghetti culture where it seems to based on the occasional panic button and making scapegoats and drastic action.

-----------------------------------------------------------

I'm sure it can't quite be as simple as that, but we do know from comments of past drivers that McLaren have always been keen to maintain the idea of two seperate groups of not just technical, but also technical staff attributed to work in close collaboration with each driver. They did take it in turn to design various parts as well as the cars themselves, and in fact there has always been a strong sense of rivalry between each driver's personal race engineer, a rivalry just as intense as those between the drivers, and it's something Dennis was known to positively encourage. Thought competition gets the best out of each.

I also remember periods dring the MCLaren-Honda years where chief design of cars seemed to be attributed to someone different every year, which would tend to confirm the views you have expressed on McLaren's philosophy and which, we are obviously reduced to speculating about, which is all we can do since we have no inside knowlege other than what teams are willing to divulge to the press.
 

Mezzer

A fine chap if ever there was one.
Contributor
I voted for Whitmarsh. First, I don't think Ron is coming back into F1, he has bigger fish to fry, second I don't think all the problems McLaren have can be laid at Whitmarsh's door. Their fundamental problem for the last couple of seasons is that they start the season off the pace. Generally they are quick at the end of the season but by then its too late. Seems to me that its the technical leadership that needs a shakeup before the team management.
 

Quintessentially

-
Contributor
Whitmarsh may not design cars just like Tony Hayward did not operate oil rigs in the Gulf but ultimately the buck stops with him. Don’t forget it was his decision to abandon the octopus exhaust layout at the onset of the season and this turned out to be a very shrewd move, so he can’t have his cake and eat it. As TP, he’s at the forefront of the decision making process whether it be design approach, car development or race strategy.

I think there are more than just whispers... It is fast approaching the sort of untenable position, that very few people can weather (Bernie being the exception) where the victim suffers death by a thousand cuts.

In Whitmarsh's case he seems to be missing the bullish leadership skills and personality to survive. He is a diplomat, not a politician so I doubt he can turn the tide. As for what difference that would make depends on who comes in. I fear Ron has too much history and the team would stay in the old routine.

He just doesn’t exude the ruthless competitive streak needed to lead a top racing team like McLaren. His laissez faire approach would’ve probably worked well when Max was still around but I doubt it would’ve won McLaren any championship s. He was close to tears when Eddie labelled him crazy in the forum after Singapore when Hamilton and Webber clashed. What was that all about? The man is quite simply too soft! As TP, you have to be a little selfish and egotistic but these attributes clearly conflict with is persona.
 

Chad Stewarthill

Champion Elect
Contributor
He just doesn’t exude the ruthless competitive streak needed to lead a top racing team like McLaren. His laissez faire approach would’ve probably worked well when Max was still around but I doubt it would’ve won McLaren any championships.
I'm not saying you're wrong, but I was wondering how you know that Whitmarsh is not ruthless or competitive enough, and has a 'laissez faire' approach to team management.
Are you employed within the Mclaren F1 team? Do you sit in on meetings where Whitmarsh is present, etc?

Let's not forget that Mclaren, after most people wrote them off at the end of pre-season testing, were until Silverstone still the only team besides Red Bull (and specifically Vettel) to have won a race in 2011, are still second in the WCC standings and their drivers are sitting in equal 4th place in the WDC points with almost half the season left.
Given the current atmosphere surrounding the behaviour of certain elements of the press in this country, I'm inclined to put more trust in the statistics than in an attention-grabbing headline in a tabloid newspaper.
 

Road of Bones

MTC Mole
Contributor
It's the Daily Fail! Possibly the most reactionary and bigoted newspaper in the UK - better used as toilet paper (and even then it's pretty poor, lacking the sufficient absorbency to be truly competitive in the the bathroom stakes).

The problem is not with Whitmarsh's leadership, it is with the design department's inability to provide a car with a good-enough baseline capability. This means they are constantly trying to claw back downforce and performance throughout the season as they try and catch up to the peerless Red Bulls of Adrian Newey.

As has already been pointed out - McLaren are not all that far behind, but to be behind at all is enough in modern F1 for all the tin-foil hatters and "Lewis is God"-ers to start the inevitable and frankly rather desperate finger-pointing and axe-swinging. The fact that McLaren have 2 WDC drivers and a hugely-expectant fanbase means that writing 2011 off to concentrate on 2012 is simply not an option for them, so they have to keep playing catch-up. This will lead to the inevitable cock-up and design blind-alley, but what would you rather see - McLaren consistently fighting in the top 6 and occasionally sneaking a win, or pootling about in the upper midfield scraping points finishes?

F1 is not a level playing-field, and never has been - all the hand-wringing and blame-flinging will not make up for the fact that Red Bull have simply done a better job than McLaren for the last 2 1/2 seasons.
 

Quintessentially

-
Contributor
I'm not saying you're wrong, but I was wondering how you know that Whitmarsh is not ruthless or competitive enough, and has a 'laissez faire' approach to team management.
Are you employed within the Mclaren F1 team? Do you sit in on meetings where Whitmarsh is present, etc?

.

I am not a fan of taking debates down this route because it effectively suggests that you cannot form an opinion on an event, issue, item etc unless you are privy to all available information. We wouldn’t be here debating F1 otherwise, as for every contentious issue there exists information that you and I are not aware of.

No I don’t sit in meetings where Martin Whitmarsh is present. You may not agree with such intrusive scrutiny but I think there is plenty of compelling evidence out there, from simply watching races to looking at simple failures on strategy, car development and how he generally comes across in public to make an assessment. Whether good or bad, there is an obvious difference in leadership style to Ron Dennis and this would be immediately obvious to any avid McLaren fan. I did say that he (Whitmarsh that is) should be credited for turning around McLaren’s fortunes at the start of the season after a difficult period of testing. But some peddle this opinion and then turn around and say he should be excused when McLaren falter on the development front because it’s not his responsibility, when he’s largely responsible for making critical calls that dictate the direction of the team on all fronts. I’m also of the opinion that the skill and experience that Hamilton and Jenson combine have masked a lot of the issues at McLaren.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
I've voted Martin Whitmarsh as I read Hamberg's article on her about attending the FOTA VIP thing and how Ron Dennis gave Martin Whitmarsh a really gushing introduction about how great he was.

Much more reliable source than any of the media.
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
People overlook that Mclaren are up against the best designer in the business - Adrian Newey who they let go in 2006 and who's cars have dominated F1 over the last twenty years .........
Yes the designers at Mclaren are clever engineers but not as smart as Newey which people seem to fail to understand in designing cars.

:givemestrength:off topic rant > Although I have no doubt that Adrian Newey has a big hand in the design process - The chief designer at Red Bull is Rob Marshall </rant>
 

canis

Race Winner
Valued Member
OK, a few points to address here.

1) "There may be moves in the boardroom"? You do know that MW sits in the boardroom, not as a director of the F1 team but in a senior capacity within McLaren as a whole. In fact if people in the boardroom wanted rid of MW then the only person who can currently outrank him within the corporate structure is Ron Dennis or the majority shareholders.

2) MW is not ruthless enough? See point above, you don't get to be a senior member of the board of a company like McLaren without firstly knowing how to play the game, and secondly knowing when not to show mercy to those standing against you. MW may be approachable and friendly to the press (which I believe is a big change in atmosphere at the team, definiotely for the good), but in business he more than has his head screwed on and knows when and how to fight his corner.

3) McLaren have failed to win a constructors championship for so many years? And how many years was MW in charge for? So for RD to turn round and fire MW from the tp role would put RD on very shakey ground personally. Can you imagine the conversation happening there? "Martin, you are fired because you did just as good a job as I did", is that really going to fly well?

4) Can people remember that McLaren have been around for some time, they are not a flash in the pan and they know that once you are behind it takes time to rebuild and correct the problems. The only way you can say that MW is not doing a good job is if he fails to respond to the issues that he has found so far. RD knows you don't just turn up and go "I know, I will build a championship winning car" and that the team has some weaknesses which need to be addressed. They do appear (from what can be seen at least) to be working on those, and when things don't go their way then you can bet they are having very big lessons learnt meetings to try and rectify what went wrong.

Just as a thought here, and for everyone to consider. MW was getting huge amounts of flack before the season for what was possibly the worst pre-season testing for any of the front running teams for some time, yet when it came to the first race they suddenly had a very stable and fast car. McLaren have serious amounts of tech behind the team, they have a lot of very experienced designers and testers working on wind tunnel and simulation data. McLaren at the end of last year were not hiding that they were taking a different direction for the car this year, and a different structure to the way they work. Can anyone here say that McLaren were not led down the route of designing the car that they had in Aus first, getting that right, knowing it had a good baseline and knowing it had the potential to challenge at the front, then putting all sorts of experimental parts and systems on the car for pre-season testing, getting as much real life data as they could on how those worked? That way come the start of the season they not only knew they had a conventionally designed, solid car, but a huge leap forward in the directions they could develop it? Lets face it, with very very little running, they turned their disaster from the pre-season tests into success at the first GP, definitely not enough time in those few weeks to redesign the majority of their car and be confident that it would hold together and work in a race.....
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top Bottom