Decline of McLaren
At the end of 2014, Ron Dennis decided that enough was enough. With Mercedes engines, the team didn't become champions and so a new deal is made with Honda. The project that was started under Fernando Alonso's leadership failed. Performance was disappointing, sponsors walked out and the board rebelled.
''I joined a team in decline,'' Zak Brown told Motorsport-total.com, about his arrival at the end of 2016. ''Where there used to be big sponsors like Vodafone, Johnny Walker and GSK on the cars, it was now a bare car. However, I don't think any one individual is responsible, nor do I need to point my finger.''
McLaren as Star Wars
However, the board did. They wanted Dennis to leave, but the McLaren legend could not be bought out just like that. It caused a lot of unrest within McLaren, which, according to Brown, led to an unhealthy working atmosphere. ''I saw McLaren a bit like Star Wars. We became a bit like Darth Vader, but we needed to be more like Luke Skywalker,'' says Brown.
However, the team boss has things well in hand now. The car is full of sponsors again and the team's management is also clear with James Key and Andreas Seidl. ''We are now slowly seeing that it is going to work. We now have everything we need. Whether it's the drivers, team boss, technical boss, engine, investors or the other resources,'' the McLaren CEO proudly concludes.