The Perfect Lap Issue no.3 - Page 9
your national football team, scored
the first golden goal in a major
international, been one of the world’s
leading club strikers and German
Footballer of the Year, you’re not a man
who’s easily impressed.
“You can really feel what this company has
accomplished and what their mentality is when
you come here,” Bierhoff notes as he continues his
measured progress through the MTC, absorbing
details of McLaren’s history and their approach to
He recognises instantly a culture of excellence similar
Formula 1 that may yet inform some of his methods
to that he has helped encourage in the German
with the German football squad.
national football squad, of which he is general manager.
“There is a working culture here that you can really
He senses the existence of common goals, shared
feel. There’s so much love and enthusiasm for the
values, a commitment to winning. He feels, despite this
product – especially the Formula 1 cars.”
being his first visit, at home.
And he sees parallels with his own hard-working
“It’s a very special atmosphere here,” he says, gazing
squad of players and professionals – reigning world
around the MTC’s light-flooded ‘Boulevard’ entrancechampions, no less – equally committed to their
walkway-cum-exhibition-gallery, adding “this facility
“If I compare it a little bit to the national team, which
He takes in the tuned Austin 7, first raced by team
is a much smaller group than the McLaren Group
founder Bruce McLaren, in pride of place before the
– about 30 people – you can feel that everybody is
phalanx of race-winning McLaren chassis stretching in
working for a goal. The parallels are clear: here and
precise alignment away to its left.
with a football squad there is a team effort. And
without a team, you can’t win. There are so many
Then he walks 100 metres or so and turns his gaze to
the remarkable team trophy cabinet that houses some individuals who are important in certain areas for
the success of the team, and so many of them work
of the more notable prizes garnered from McLaren’s
behind the scenes for that team success. But they all
485 podium finishes – 182 of them victories.
share the same mentality.
Yet when Oliver Bierhoff, the man to whom all of these
accolades apply, enters McLaren’s MTC headquarters,
in his role as an ambassador for McLaren Group
partner SAP, a light smile of approval crosses his face.
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