Michael and Boullier in the running to be new McLaren F1 boss

Sam Michael and Eric Boullier

Sam Michael and Eric Boullier

Martin Whitmarsh will not be present as McLaren’s 2014 car is launched, amid speculation he is out the door of the Woking based outfit with Sam Michael and now Eric Boullier in contention for the role of Team Principal.

The launch absence will effectively confirm Briton Whitmarsh’s demise, following what the Telegraph describes as the “internal coup” that led to McLaren supremo Ron Dennis regaining full control.

Sporting director Sam Michael is being tipped to step into the Team Principal role, after the 42-year-old Australian – and not Whitmarsh – was quoted in the statement announcing Stoffel Vandoorne as 2014 reserve.

“Whitmarsh has not even been in the team’s Woking headquarters since Ron Dennis wrested back overall control of Formula 1 affairs last week,” reports Daily Mail correspondent Jonathan McEvoy.

McEvoy tipped Whitmarsh to be “shuffled to another post within McLaren Group or out of the door altogether after five disappointing years in charge”.

Meanwhile Boullier has leapt into hot contention to be McLaren’s new team boss, after leaving Lotus with immediate effect.

In December, the Frenchman angrily slammed reports that he was set to quit as the Lotus Team Principal, insisting that everything was “quite normal” at the Enstone team.

But that was before Ron Dennis took back full control of the British grandee McLaren, throwing the future of current team boss Martin Whitmarsh into huge doubt.

Lotus confirmed early on Friday that Frenchman Boullier is departing immediately, to be replaced as boss by team owner Gerard Lopez.

“We thank Eric for all his hard work over the past four years and we are confident we can continue to fight as one of the top teams in Formula 1 over the seasons ahead.”

As well as fuelling the strong McLaren reports, Boullier’s Lotus exit casts further doubt on the future of the financially-struggling Enstone team.

But the Lotus statement on Friday said that more new sponsors will be announced when the 2014 car is launched at the Bahrain test, early next month.

“The team management, car and partner portfolio will illustrate the team’s will and desire to continue its quest to become one of the strongest teams in Formula 1 in every sense,” the statement added.(GMM)

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  • Lotus is toast

    My how far Lotus has fallen. Kimi knew what was going on and that is why he left, Lotus is in big time trouble and may not finish the 2014 season.

  • RBC

    Oh what? Boullier was lying? Shock horror. Not.

  • haha

    As a Ferrarist I hope for Mclaren fans that Dennis sacks Sam Michael ASAP. That man is no good! At Williams he did nothing, Adam Parr who was unfortunately sacked was the man who held Williams up. But he didn’t get along with Bernie and was a big treath in taking over his job. Michael obviously was on the right train but he wasn’t steering it. I can’t believe Ron is even considering Michael. As for Bouiller, he’s not that honest fits in right there with horner. Martin and Stefano are both real people’s people and down to earth and they are verry liked by the team and drivers. They even go on vacation together. People who say they don’t have what it takes are crazy. If you prefer hypocrits and cheaters like Flavio and Horner in a way, go fish they ruin our sport!

  • Tamburello_1994

    Just like Hamilton leaving McLaren, Kimi’s exit has had an deleterious effect on the team from Enstone.

    Shorter Lotus – ” . . I’ve fallen . . . And I can’t get up”!!!

  • Taskmaster

    Of course there is a strong possibility that Dennis will remain team principle for 2014 to pull the team back in line while Brawn works in the background with Honda in preparation for the transition in 2015 – including new design leadership and an all new car developed parallel to running this season – funded by Honda and completed before spending limits are put over everyone’s head in 2015. Boullier hardly brings anything of high enough caliber to elevate McLaren (nor is Michael) that Dennis doesn’t already bring himself. It seems doubtful that McLaren is going to jump around and put someone in place willy-nilly at this point… regardless of the media’s excitement to see sensational headlines made.

  • Texas Roadhouse

    At McLaren, anyone except Michael, please! Except maybe Boullier.

  • haha

    If Bouiller joins Mclaren that could be good for Romain in the future. He was the one challenging Vettel and the Bulls in the last races.

  • WestMclarenMercedes

    Heck anyone except these two. Well also horner he is just as dishonest as boullier. I cant believe he is seriously considering sam michael. I hope this is a joke. They will fail with these two and this will not attract alonso to McLaren at all. Please McLaren listen to the fans and not consider these two idiots!

  • Matthew

    I want proof that they are even considering boulier, I don’t believe it for a second.

  • AFA

    God, please protect McLaren from Sam Michael!! The man cannot even set a correct pit stop strategy! How can you trust him to actually run the team??????????

  • Paul Jr

    Please not Sam

  • Nowhereman

    Looks to me like it’s a Ferrari vs RB series this year.
    Byrne and Allison will deliver a car that will give RB nightmares this season.
    The best part is that Alonso and Kimi will slap kid single finger around every race track this year.
    Should be fun to watch.

  • Dean C

    Just smacks of speculation. @Taskmaster..you are spot on!

  • ku

    What has honesty have to do with F1???
    Any way where was Lotus/Renault befre Boullier and Genii capital?
    Task master is being incredibly unfair to Mr Boullier.

  • StevetheGreat

    i hope whoever gets the job gets the sack for 2015. I can’t stand either one and neither is any better than Whitmarsh!

  • Cocoonfxmedia

    Who says Boullier isn’t going to replace Stefano Domenicali he hasn’t delivered either… The ideal world would be Sam Michael at Mclaren, Whitmarsh at Ferrari, Boullier to Toro Rosso (help them grow)… and then Red Bull can trash Mclaren, Ferrari and Mercedes for the FIFTH time!!!!

  • Robb

    Would Boullier even be allowed to take over as TP with any team in 2014 without a gardening leave?

  • JGN

    If McLaren don’t get rid of Michael, they might as well right of 2014 now.

  • RBC

    The blind leading the blind…

  • Red Horizon

    At the moment Domenicali’s seat is not at risk and, unless surprises, he will remain at Ferrari for several years to come.