McLaren say they support new teams

McLaren have said that they support new teams – a statement which flies in the face of rivals Ferrari’s criticism of the new entrants.

Managing director Jonathan Neale told reporters via a teleconference that he recognised the new teams and FOTa should assist them in any way possible.

“As a group we have to be supportive in getting new teams off the ground.”

Some drivers, not least Felipe Massa, have said that the slower pace of the new teams could potentially be dangerous. Neale acknowledged the concerns., but said he was sure the stewards or the FIA would take action if there was any clear and present danger.

“I respect greatly what the drivers are saying and one or two have raised concerns about it, but I think that’s a matter for the FIA.

“I’m sure that the FIA will look very closely at it and if there are big gaps in closing speeds and plenty of red flags, then they’ll take the necessary actions. And it’s important that they do because we don’t want yet more casualties before the start of the season.”

Neale said that the new teams were important for the sport in the light of the financial crisis and withdrawals from F1.

“We have to try and get as many new teams off the ground and stabilise them as quickly as possible because we need it in view of the disappointing losses Honda, Toyota and BMW [since 2008] is disappointing. I’d like to think that collectively we can achieve that.”