What, so that means it can never ever happen?
This blatant, after so much promotion? No. It was up for more than an hour.
One would have to be pretty naive to believe it has ever been different. Motorsport in a way is a closed community, playing independent and investigative wouldn't pay for a publication, they can't afford messing too much with the subjects of their reporting. If a publication would do that, they would find themselves soon enough having to copy news from other sites, cause the communication with the teams would dry out quickly.
I think indeed a miscommunication is most likely the root of this, in that the article somehow side-stepped the normal procedure of approval, before publishing, by McLaren. I don't think the case is too damaging for Autosports reputation, as it was in the end just a press realease, news-style article with a McLaren employee talking. Would have been worse if they were forced to withdraw a commentary by an Autosport writer.
And anyway, the article is still out there for everyone with basic google skills to read.
Thing is, they do it with Mercedes, they do it with Ferrari. Then they are apparently not concerned about the relation. Or maybe these teams dont turn the screws as much as Mclaren does. Mercedes gets burned to the ground on the cover, in a time when mclaren was even more at sea. The latter only got a slight mention they were having troubles.