Former McLaren man Joan Villadelprat offered an unsupportive assessment of McLaren's current management, qualifying chief executive Zak Brown as "weak".
The Spaniard officiated at McLaren during its early Ron Dennis heydays, building a successful career as a chief mechanic and operations director as he enjoyed stints at Ferrari, Benetton and Prost Grand Prix.
Looking at McLaren's state of affairs, Villadelprat wonders of the team he once knew can revive its former lustre.
"I saw the birth of McLaren. I was one of the first to enter with Ron (Dennis)," he told El Confidencial.
"I've seen McLaren grow, and I've seen the opposite. Now McLaren is going through a difficult time and sometimes I can hardly believe the direction they are in now.
"I wonder if they can come out of the hole."
In the 63-year-old's view, McLaren has lost its way in part because the team is void of any winners, having undergone a purge following Ron Dennis' demise at the end of 2016.
"When the changes started at McLaren, they felt the need to clean up the people loyal to Ron Dennis," said Villadelprat.
"But the people eliminated were those who for years had the essence and the intelligence to keep McLaren strong, even when there was a year when they were not competitive.
"Ron Dennis was seeking how to win again. To do it, you have to have done it before and know how. Now we have a group of people at McLaren that I do not see as winners," he added.
"I see Brown as weak and still learning. Yes, there are still good people and great potential. But they have neither the money nor the imagination that they need at this moment."