McLaren supremo Ron Dennis has returned fire after his old contemporary Eddie Jordan slammed McLaren’s arrogance amid the team’s worst ever season.
Jordan, the colourful former team boss turned television pundit, had said it is not right that struggling carmaker Honda is getting all the blame for the McLaren “mess”.
“Ron Dennis sacked Martin Whitmarsh,” he said, “but Whitmarsh never did the job of running that team as badly as Dennis is doing it now.”
But at Silverstone, McLaren supremo Dennis hit back on Sky television: “I consider Formula 1 a family, and families live in villages. And villages always have a village idiot. He [Jordan] fits the bill perfectly.”
Jordan’s BBC colleague David Coulthard, however – a former long-time McLaren driver – said Dennis’ rebuke was not fair.
“It [McLaren’s situation] is incredibly frustrating and we can see tempers are starting to fray,” the Scot told the Telegraph newspaper.
“Eddie is many things but he is definitely not an idiot. I don’t expect Ron to like it but you fight fire with fire. What he’s done is fight fire with insults,” Coulthard insisted.
Fernando Alonso at least opened his points account on Sunday with a single point for tenth, but the Spaniard answered “No way” when asked if he will be celebrating.
“No. We want to be world champions,” he told Spanish reporters after the British grand prix. “By the end of the year we want to be at another level so that points are normal rather than news.”
For that, however, Honda might have to give in to McLaren’s pressure to hire some experienced engine-specialist engineers from outside the team, the Telegraph reports.
The newspaper said that until now, the Japanese marque has issued a “blanket refusal” to the request, despite increasing pressure from Dennis and Eric Boullier.
So Coulthard does not think the solution will come quickly, “It’s difficult to imagine they’re going to make inroads between now and the end of the year. As far as McLaren go we almost have to ignore them until they are anything like competitive again.”