McLaren does not intend to wield the axe

Sam Michael with Jenson Button

Sam Michael with Jenson Button

Sam Michael has hit back at claims that heads should be rolling at McLaren as the team endures one of the worst starts to a championship campaign in its history.

Having gone with a radical new car for the final season of V8 regulations this year, the great Woking based team – lagging even behind the similarly-powered Force India – can no longer count itself among the ‘big four’ at present.

But Australian Michael, who left Williams in 2011 amid that team’s worst ever title campaign, said that McLaren is taking a cautious approach to the question of sackings.

“To start with you have to be very careful,” he told British broadcaster Sky.

“First of all you could sack the wrong people and secondly the people who are responsible for this car are part of this company and they are committed to it.

“They are very good engineers and designers who have produced very good cars in the past and they are going to be the best people to fix this car and produce another very good car in the future,” added Michael.

The fact that McLaren needs to ‘fix’ the flawed MP4-28 is crucial, as there have been calls for the team to simply abandon their 2013 campaign and focus on the huge challenge of 2014.

Lead driver Jenson Button insists: “Although the 2014 cars will be different, first we need to understand the current car in order to take a step forward next year.

“We also want to win races this year,” he told Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport, just prior to competing in an ironman event in Berlin. “That goes for everyone who works at McLaren.”

Sporting director Sam Michael also said it is simplistic to suggest that McLaren should simply ‘write off’ 2013 in order to focus on a fresh start.

“I don’t think you ever get to a point where you write it off – we will always be pushing to improve the car and get good results right to the end,” said the 42-year-old.

“In terms of bringing development parts to the car, the August [factory] shutdown is going to be a natural point for most teams to start ramping down this year and putting everything into 2014.” (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

  • Junior Johnson

    This guy is the first wich must go.It would seem to me that he doesnt know how to build a car.He built rubish cars at wiliams now he comes to maclaren to build rubish cars there.He needs to ask Horner and his clown Newy how it is to build a fast car

  • Lee B

    @Junior Johnson.
    When you say “build a car” do you mean design, manufacture or assemble the car? Sam Michael does none of these – he is Sporting Director. The McLaren is slow, largely down to the designers – the rest of the team have to work with what they are given. How is this SM’s fault when he has little design input?
    Also ‘Newy’ – assume you mean Adrian Newey – has designed more F1 Championship winning cars than anyone else p living or dead – so perhaps not such a ‘clown’.
    Sir, i would suggest you are the clown, no, on reflection, make that a world class bell-end.

  • M451

    They should turn their heads to 2014. Even Mercedes have over half of their company developing for 2014. McLaren is here to compete for championships. It is not the sort of team that is pushing their resources to scavenge one or two points.

  • Junior Johnson

    Leeb yes eksakly Mikeals is the directer and they are the ones wich have to take responsibilities.If the buck doesnt stop at him where does it stop?Also I called Newy a clown because he is quiet funny not because of anything else.You are the one to insult him now not me.Also I wonder just how much Newys sucess is because of Horner.Ok yes I know Newy has some luck with Williams and a little bit long ago with Maclaren but he was wondering around in the dessert for many years.Looking for that thing in the distanse wich looks like water but isint

  • bamza

    a special chap that JJ ?

  • Lee B

    A diamond geezer (innit).