Wednesday 4 January at 09:35 :
Jan.4 (GMM) McLaren's former long-time team manager Jo Ramirez thinks "passion" is lacking in the Woking team of today.
Ever present throughout the glorious Senna and Hakkinen eras, the 75-year-old Mexican told Spanish radio Cadena Cope that he remains well connected with McLaren figures now.
"Unfortunately, McLaren is in a very delicate situation because there are a lot of politics," he said.
Indeed, team supremo Ron Dennis lost a recent power struggle, and new executive Jost Capito has reportedly left the team despite having only joined some months ago.
Ramirez claims: "Everyone is still working, but there's not the passion there was before because new people have come but most of them were Ron's people."
But the Mexican said not all is lost for the famous British marque.
"In January or February, we will see if the new management has been able to revive this great name, because for those who were there before it is a pity to see them destroying themselves," said Ramirez.
He tips Honda to keep improving the engine, but also said the McLaren chassis needs to get better because it was "not perfect" in 2016.
"They lack great people in design, but have understood what they need to do. 2017 should be the year in which they are good, and if Fernando (Alonso) will have left, he would have regretted it.
"He has taken a few decisions at the wrong time and suffered, so let's see if he's now right this time. Hopefully," Ramirez added.