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Whitmarsh 'relaxed' about leadership criticism

ESPN Staff
March 29, 2013 « Ma and Rossi secure Friday drives | Horner admits to lack of trust between drivers »
Martin Whitmarsh: "I hope and believe that I've got a reasonable amount of persuasive influence on most of the people in the organisation" © Sutton Images
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Martin Whitmarsh says he is "relaxed" about the criticism he has received following McLaren's poor start to the new season.

The team opted for a revolutionary approach to its new car for 2013 and started the year well off the pace around the bumpy Albert Park circuit. The smooth track surface at Sepang allied to a better understanding of the car saw McLaren deliver a more competitive performance and with Whitmarsh having been vindicated somewhat he said criticism of his leadership in the press doesn't concern him.

"I'm relaxed about it," Whitmarsh said. "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.

"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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