McLaren Fails FIA Tests And May Miss Jerez Which Prompted Dennis Coup d’Etat – Double Ouch…

From GrandPrix 247

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)

Subbed by AJN.


I am still in shock. I just can’t wrap my head around the idea Ron Dennis will be on pit wall this coming season. If my memory serves me correctly he was basically told by McLaren to go work on something else, anything really, except the F1 part of the business. This ended up being the road car division with the MP4-12C. Well at least the MP4 part was the same, but it was never going to satisfy Dennis who’s very existence was, is and forever will be to go motor racing. Frankly I had my doubts when he was sheppard out of the title of Team Principal, I just did not think he could go cold turkey. The Word McLaren and Ron Dennis are the most interchangeable words in the Formula One lexicon.

It is early days and very few details are available. Was this really a coup?  Was Dennis just treating water while waiting for just such a chance to get back to his former position? Was the lack luster season without any wins (a first for McLaren in quite sometime) the more accurate reason the board choose to replace Martin Whitmarsh? Did the board act entirely on its own? As far as a crash test failure prompting the change, this would seem like something which has been planned out for quite some time, but what do I or any of us know for certain. I suspect we will find out most of these answers as the story develops and depending on what comes to light I just might peel back the veneer just a little bit more in a more exhaustive post.

As for me I am excited to see Dennis back, he had many detractors, but who doesn’t at the highest levels in F1. I miss him and his alway stoic expression during the Grand Prix. David Richards once said he knew of no one else as competitive in F1. Translation: Ron hates to lose more than anyone else. So I expect McLaren to do less losing and some more winning come the start of the season.      -jp-

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