In the aftermath of a disastrous 2013 season for McLaren, Ron Dennis has engineered his return to the helm as CEO with the mandate to return the Formula 1 operation to its winning ways. The catalyst for the moves at Woking appear to have arisen after the team’s 2014 car failed the FIA tests which may force the team to miss the first test at Jerez.
Reports in Italy indicate that the MP4-29, designed by Matt Morris, is behind schedule due to failing the mandatory FIA crash tests.
This implies that the online presentation scheduled for 24 January will not feature the complete and ready to test MP4-29, but rather a mock-up of the 2014 car.
McLaren’s response to queries by Grand Prix 247 was: “At this time of the year it’s normal for all teams to be pushing everything to the limit in an effort to extract the most performance, and crash tests are no different. McLaren will pass all the tests prior to track running.”
This could fulfill Lotus Team Principal Eric Boullier’s prediction that his team will not be the only outfit to miss the opening F1 preseason test at Jerez which starts on 28 January.
Meanwhile Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh could exit McLaren in the wake of Dennis’ coup d’etat, while the likes of managing director Jonathan Neale and sporting director Sam Michael could also be heading out the door or face redeployment within the organisation.
Dennis is reportedly seriously courting out of work Ross Brawn to lead the team into the future, which includes a return to Honda power in 2015. Brawn has deep ties with the Japanese motor manufacturer, while McLaren have ambitious plans – which go well beyond Formula 1 – for their reunification with Honda. (GP247)