McLaren reveals “staggering” problem that has led to unprecedented decline

McLaren revealed the “staggering” problem that led to the decline of the team before its current revival.

McLaren is one of the greatest teams to have raced in F1. Multiple world championships, tons of victories and pole positions and some great drivers only tell part of the story.

However, the team went into freefall in the 2010s. Lewis Hamilton’s reliability issues in 2012 kicked off a series of terrible incidents for the team, with their fortunes taking a nosedive in no time.

McLaren revealed the “staggering” problem that led to their decline, saying it took fight and calculated planning to get to where they were today.

As quoted by the Race, Technical director James Key suggested the key was “being very open with stuff and removing the blame cultures”.

“Not that they were necessarily an issue when we arrived. But definitely not have them at all so people were free to talk and attack issues in a very sort of mature and open way.”

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Brazilian Grand Prix Sprint Day Sao Paulo, Brazil
Through hard and smart work, McLaren buried the ghosts of the past. Source:

Culture appropriation

“There was a BIG blame culture,” said McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown.

“And James would have just caught the tail end of it. So, if he didn’t think it was that bad, that’s because he was part of the solution. Not part of the problem!

“When I started, it was staggering. It was clear to me why the team wasn’t being successful. It wasn’t just about the power unit and chassis, it was the whole package. And structure! Forget about even the individuals – we had some individual problems, for sure – but structurally, it wasn’t set up for success.

“It was a complicated organisation that Martin Whitmarsh had put in that created a blame culture, a lack of responsibility. And then that just started to manifest itself.

“What you had in that were some people that needed to go because that played to their personality. And then you had people that just needed to be fixed because they got caught in that culture and it wasn’t their personality,” he concluded.

Read more: McLaren angry with Red Bull and AlphaTauri – “Smaller teams satisfy agenda of bigger ones”

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