SOME people in the McLaren’s Formula One camp are said to be more than unhappy after their hard work was rewarded with – wait for it: Freddo chocolate bars.
Workers reportedly complained about the atmosphere in the struggling team, describing it as ‘toxic’ with one unidentified employee saying ‘we’ve been working all hours of the day, sweating blood, and they give us 25p (about 60c) Freddo bars.
‘The management hand them to the supervisors to divide them out to employees in their team. Strictly one each.’
‘We were given two weeks to produce the Spain upgrade package in May so we all worked 24/7 to meet the deadline. We got it done in time and a week later a Freddo was handed out to us as a bonus.
‘We call four of the management the Untouchables.
‘There’s racing director Eric Boullier, chief engineer Matt Morris, chief operating officer Simon Roberts and David Probyn, the operations director.
‘Some of them just walk about chatting. We have no respect for them.’
The Freddo objecter said executives even appealed to staff to build prototypes out of wood if they had any ideas how to improve their sub-standard car.
‘That shows how clueless they are,’ he said.
‘After the debrief at the Canadian Grand Prix debrief they said they knew what was wrong with the car but not how to fix it. They ask us when they are on six-figure salaries.’
McLaren, which, despite its annual operating budget of about £200 million, ($355 million) and the same engine as the better performing Red Bull Renaults, is having a lean time in competition this season.
The company responded by saying it had one of the most loyal and long-serving staff in the entire motorsport industry.
‘Our team leaders are free to reward their staff with spontaneous, thoughtful and fun gifts whenever they feel that a job or task is worthy of extra recognition and reward,’ the company, which has a staff of 800, said.
‘This (the Freddo bonus) was just such an example, alongside so many others that happen on a daily basis.’
McLaren is one of the teams clamouring for Daniel Ricciardo’s services for the 2019/2020 season, with talk of a $20 million carrot to entice him to leave Red Bull Racing.