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You have to hand it to McLaren CEO Ron Dennis, he’s wasting no time in his efforts to re-gain ground lost by one of Formula 1’s most historic teams after a dismal 2013 season…the worst since 1980.

Having failed to score a podium finish in 2013, losing their lead driver, Lewis Hamilton, and head technical director, Paddy Lowe, to Mercedes, the Ron has come back to the CEO position with a shoot-the-wounded approach. Moving team boss Martin Whitmarsh out, Ron Dennis hired Eric Boullier for the role and has now ‘mutually’ parted ways with Marcin Budkowski who was the teams lead aerodynamicist. The team said:

“Marcin and McLaren Racing have differing views on the strategic plans affecting the aerodynamics department and as such we have agreed to part company,” the McLaren spokesman explained.

“We wish Marcin all the best for his future after six years and thank him for his valuable contribution during that time.”

As I mentioned on the podcast, when a team is performing poorly it is difficult to fire the whole team and not a very prudent move. you usually fire the coach and get a new approach and strategy in place. It seems Marcin didn’t agree with the new strategy but chief aerodynamicist Doug McKiernan apparently does as he takes over the role as lead aero man at the Woking-based team.

People such as Martin and Marcin are real human beings and I hate to see the departure of either gentlemen but the draconian side of me says that McLaren needs a change…a big change and it seems, barring the unfortunate impact it will have on Whitmarsh and Budkowski, they are making those changes.

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An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry and as a CTO, he focuses on technology integration in commercial workspace design, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • Tom Firth

    So is Prodromou coming sooner than 2015 after all ?

  • Max Smoot

    F1 is a merit-based activity. No tears for those who fail to perform. That’s the price of excellence and we’re all the better for it.

  • Rapierman

    I seem to recall a story told to me about the last version of “Flash Gordon”, a scene in which Ming the Merciless yells, “First wave, die! Second wave, die!” When one of his generals asked “Why did you do that!?”, he yells back, “SOMEBODY’S GOTTA DIE!!!”

    What does this have to do with Formula 1?

    Everything.

  • Jack Flash (Aust)

    McLaren aerodynamics team has some conflicts of professional opinion at the top.
    Marcin Budkowski favoured the MP4-29 clit-nose design. Doug McKiernan wanted to go a completely masculine phallus direction for the MP4-29 nose aero, but was shot down in options evaluations stage in January.
    Uncle Ron agrees with Doug… JF (tongue in cheek)

    • Jack Flash (Aust)

      Aw come on… Not one snigger or hearty gafaw ?
      Tough audience. :-/ JF