Zak Brown believes McLaren's depressed performance this season was a by-product of the lack of leadership endured by the team in the past years.
A failed three-year partnership with Honda and disruption at the management level left McLaren in a pitiful state at the end of last season.
But under the guidance of Brown, a marketing guru who took the helm of McLaren following the ousting of long-standing boss and shareholder Ron Dennis, the Woking-based outfit's hopes of a recovery were revived when it switched its engine allegiance to Renault.
While progress materialized, the team's performance fell well short of expectations. As he took stock and assessed his team's situation, Brown opened up about the reasons behind McLaren's 2018 shortfall.
"What has taken us here, the problems of this season were in the making for years," he candidly said, speaking to Spain's El Mundo Deportivo.
"My summary would be that we lacked consistency in leadership.
"I don't want to point to anyone, but there was a lack of focus for everything that was going on from the board down: investments, mergers of companies, changes in management, changes in executive directors, and ultimately, lack of attention.
"That is what created the problem. What happened was that people did not have clear objectives, a responsibility."
During the 2018 season, McLaren embarked on a fundamental restructuring at all levels, the fruits of which grew too late to favourably impact its performance. But Brown insists the team will enter the new year now anchored to a solid foundation.
"We created a poor car for 2018," he admits.
"Our company has a lot of individual talent, a hundred people who have been with us for 20 years. We have not had the correct structure. That's what we want to correct.
"Now we are on the road to recovery. As I told the people of McLaren , the feeling will be good before the results will be good.
"The development is going well, the teamwork, collaboration, communication and the responsibilities. Everything that we were short on, now we're doing well," he added.
"But until we get the new car on track, people will not be able to see the improvements we've made. I think this year has been the low point."
"We work hard to recover, but it will take a while," he concluded.