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Whitmarsh: I don't ever shy away from facing up to stuff

29 March 2013

McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh has said he is not concerned he could be made a scapegoat following the team's failure to start the F1 2013 season with a decent car.

Although McLaren showed signs of rapid improvement in Malaysia last weekend, just seven days on from the nightmare start in Australia, questions continue to be asked about why the Woking-based outfit opted for such dramatic changes with the MP4-28, especially given last year's car was considered was one of – if not – the fastest.

“When the car is not successful, then a lot of the focus will inevitably be on me. When the car is successful then there is normally credit elsewhere. But that's the job,” Whitmarsh told reporters in Malaysia last weekend.

“I am relaxed about that. I have been around in the sport long enough. I have been involved in over 100 grand prix victories, so I know what it's like to win and that's fun, but I also know what it is like not to do a good enough job for the team.

“I know that if you are going to be the team principal, I have to stand there and accept responsibility for it.”

“I'm passionate about what I do and I don't like it when it doesn't go right but we've all got a job to do and I don't ever shy away from facing up to stuff,” he continued in an interview with ESPNF1.com.

“It's always very easy; people were trying to get me to name names of who might be responsible and people who might not even be here to defend themselves, but that's not my style. That's not how I operate and I hope and believe ultimately in our drivers, engineers; we've got a lot of bright, motivated people here. If you try and make decisions or impose them on pips and stripes saying 'I'm in charge, this is how it's going to be', you'll fail, I believe.

“I hope and believe that I've got a reasonable amount of persuasive influence on most of the people in the organisation because they respect - I hope they do, not always I'm sure - generally respect that I play it straight, I tell them what I think.

“Behind closed doors I'll be pretty brutally frank, but publicly - it doesn't matter if it's a guy in a pit stop, an engineer, director of the company or a race driver - if someone says to you 'Do you want to be the fourth team principal in the history of McLaren?' and you say 'Yeah I'll have that', your ego to the fore, then you take what comes with it.”


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