Martin Whitmarsh will not be present as McLaren‘s 2014 car is launched on Friday.
That is the claim of Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper, following reports the team’s F1 boss for the past five years will also not attend the forthcoming Jerez test.
The Daily Mail said the launch absence will effectively confirm Briton Whitmarsh’s demise, following what the Telegraph describes as the “internal coup” that led to McLaren supremo Ron Dennis regaining full control.
Sporting director Sam Michael is being tipped to step into the team principal role, after the 42-year-old Australian – and not Whitmarsh – was quoted in the statement announcing Stoffel Vandoorne as 2014 reserve.
“Whitmarsh has not even been in the team’s Woking headquarters since Ron Dennis wrested back overall control of formula one affairs last week,” said Daily Mail correspondent Jonathan McEvoy.
McEvoy tipped Whitmarsh to be “shuffled to another post within McLaren Group or out of the door altogether after five disappointing years in charge”.