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New signings will give McLaren the edge - Neale

ESPN Staff
January 24, 2014 « Lotus produces first image of new E22 | New engines sound good - Button »
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McLaren believes new additions to its engineering team will be the key to getting its fortunes back on track over the coming years.

McLaren endured a humiliating season without a single podium in 2013 and finished fifth in the constructors' championship at the end of the year. For 2014 Ron Dennis has returned to the top of the management structure as CEO and Martin Whitmarsh, who was not mentioned in any of the launch material for the new MP4-29, is expected to stand down as team principal.

The team has already signed high-profile engineers from rivals Red Bull and Lotus, and ex-Lotus team principal Eric Boullier looks set to join the team to replace Whitmarsh. Managing director Jonathan Neale said the team's focus is on moving forward by adding to the team's existing talent.

"A team with a fantastic heritage like McLaren is always faced with the challenge of continually winning races and championships," he said. "Equally, there's a responsibility to move the organisation - and our processes - forwards. In fact, we'll be doing just that during 2014: pushing ahead with an incredible amount of effort, analysis and commitment on the racetrack, but also making changes away from the track that will reap a greater dividend in the long term.

"There's a huge amount of talent and potential already extant within the organisation, but there's always more to discover. And we've made some very important key additions who'll have a significant input into our future momentum - we're incredibly pleased and excited to have hired the likes of Peter Prodromou and Dan Fallows, both from Red Bull Racing, and Ettore Griffini and Ciaron Pilbeam from Lotus, as well as more than a dozen top-level engineers from among the best teams in Formula 1, all of whom have seen the capacity and potential that exists here at McLaren.

"Nonetheless, this is a long-term process, and this year will be about developing and growing McLaren to a position where we can once again fight at the front."

Neale believes Dennis will provide the long-term vision the team needs to return to winning ways.

"For those that know Ron, he is as fired up as he ever has been and more passionate now than ever," he added. "He's excited about the changes we have ahead of us, he's very operational with us in the business and he has a very strong vision about the brand and the values.

"He's not just about making sure McLaren is totally focused on winning, but how we win. There is a way that McLaren go about things. And if ever there was somebody who had a strong vision and a sense of true north and how it is to win in F1 and why that is important, he has got it in spades. It's exciting times."

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