McLaren CEO Zak Brown believes the Formula 1 team’s “completely unacceptable” situation is the result of years of management instability.
In the wake of the resignation of racing director Eric Boullier, which has prompted a reshuffling of technical staff, Brown is under no illusions about the scale of the outfit’s problems.
With its disappointing form at the start of 2018 having exposed clear weaknesses, Brown is working on a major overhaul that he hopes can get it back to the front.
Reflecting on why the former championship-winning team is struggling so much, Brown believes that a series of changes at the top level in recent years – which have included the departure of team principal Martin Whitmarsh, chairman Ron Dennis and a short tenure for CEO Jost Capito – have been costly.
“Obviously our results this year have demonstrated that we have a big performance issue,” said Brown, during a call with media on Wednesday.
“We are punching well below our weight given the history, the talent of people, the resources, and the technology at our disposal. This comes from a culmination of really being destabilised over many years within our team.
“If you look at our past seven or eight years we have had different CEOs, different shareholders, shareholders in, shareholders out, CEOs in, CEOs out. And have really failed to get on stable footing to be able to rebuild this great team, which is now what we are going to do.”
He added: “I think we all share in the pain of not seeing a McLaren being as successful as we know it can be. It is a completely unacceptable situation we find ourselves in. It is very painful for all of us here at McLaren.”
Although McLaren has scored more points than last year, and has added more sponsors, Brown accepts that moving back to the front in F1 will take some time.
“We are improving,” he said. “However, we are not in a good enough place to expect to be much better. We have announced this big change to get our house in order.
“I am not going to knee jerk react. The team needs to have a period of stabilisation so we can build strong foundations. The situation was not created overnight and therefore will not be fixed overnight. So today is our first step in getting back to winning ways.”
Asked if the racing director role that Boullier had will be replaced, he said: “At this point we’ve not made any decision on what’s definitively in and out.
“This is a start of the process, everything is being reviewed and I’m going to withhold giving a play-by-play on how we’re going to rebuild our team to race-winning success. We haven’t made any final determination of what’s in and what’s out.”