McLaren has rejected suggestions in the British press that team principal Martin Whitmarsh's job might be under threat following poor showings at Valencia and Silverstone.
Rumors had circulated following the British Grand Prix that Whitmarsh's position could be in jeopardy if the team did not improve within a month. McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale played down such talk, however, insisting Whitmarsh is just as important to McLaren's long-term future as Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.
"Martin has done such a fantastic job for McLaren, and is a proven race winner and championship winner," Neale insisted. "In terms of a succession plan, that's not something we are either going to publish or that we need to have ready in case there's a sudden exit. We want Martin, Lewis and Jenson here for the long term.
"I think (the speculation) is just part of the media circus and expectation – of course, in a home grand prix if you don't deliver, which we didn't, then you have to expect a bit of comeback on that. We just looked at it internally, smiled and moved on."
Neale also brushed aside suggestions that Whitmarsh's duties as FOTA chairman may be a distraction, insisting that they actually benefited McLaren – and the other F1 teams – in the long term.
"I don't see FOTA being a distraction at all, I think it's an essential part of managing the sport and the job, and Martin handles it very well. When you look at the cohesion around the engine regulations, the ability to bring in some kind of resource restriction, developing a carbon-friendly agenda – that stuff wouldn't have happened previously.
"It's part of doing the full job and I think he's done it well – which is why they've asked him to do it for this year as well as last year. There are no concerns on my behalf at all."