Former McLaren team coordinator Jo Ramirez says the team’s recent management overhaul has left it in a “very delicate” situation, while also pointing to a lack of passion in the Woking-based outfit.
Despite significant progress from engine partner Honda in 2016, McLaren is coming off a fourth consecutive winless campaign, and has also hit a few speed bumps off track.
Ex-McLaren Group chairman Ron Dennis was ousted last month after 35 years at the helm in the wake of a power struggle with the company’s other shareholders.
Jost Capito, whom Dennis appointed, is on his way out after only four months as chief executive officer. Meanwhile, motorsport marketing expert Zak Brown has moved in as executive director.
Speaking in an interview with Spanish radio COPE, Ramirez, who worked at McLaren from 1984 to 2001, explains why he is worried for his former team.
“Unfortunately McLaren is in a very delicate situation because there's a lot of politics,” he said, as translated by Motorsport.com.
“Jost Capito is leaving and people at McLaren had high hopes for him and he has been there for a few months and the politics were such that he couldn't take it and he's out.
“There are so many things that people are quite sad about. I'm in London and I had lunch with a friend who is still at McLaren and he says he's sad, because everybody keeps working but there's no passion.
“They have jobs and they have to make a living but it's not the same passion they had before for the job. There's a lot of people at McLaren who were Ron people.
“We'll see if the new management can resurrect this great name, because those of us who were there are very saddened by what's going on. They are destroying themselves.”
Ramirez started his career in F1 in 1961 alongside the Rodriguez brothers. He then went on to work with legendary racing figures such as Dan Gurney, Ken Tyrrell, and the Fittipaldi brothers.
During his time as McLaren team coordinator, the Mexican had to manage the notoriously strained relationship between archrivals Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.