This is Andrew Purcell. http://andrew-purcell.com/
(edited to the correct URL for the correct Andrew) He is a journalist.
Here's my theory.
He interviewed McGarth about McLaren Applied Whatevers, for another title. Maybe Purcell is an F1 fan and asked him about goings on. McGrath either assumed he was off the record, or since it was a question unrelated to what he was being interviewed about, didn't think it would go beyond casual conversation.
Purcell, assuming he's a racing fan even if not racing journalist, figures he has some good quotes actually and approaches Autosport about running them. They think it makes a good story(hence making it their 'main' story), reckon the guy checks out(hence he gets credit for the story) and they run it.
McLaren completely freak. Because the story isn't good for them and it's someone speaking out of turn, effectively. I imagine they investiated internally and found out what was said was actually said, but was never supposed to be for publication. So they go to Autosport, or rather Haymarket, and strongly ask for it to be taken down. And either through their very close relationship or via more direct action(depending on how defensive Autosport's editorial people were) they were able to convince them to remove the story entirely.
Do you guys remember the Aston Martin/Prodrive story from early 2009? Were going to file a 2010 entry, have Mercedes engines, etc. Started out I think as an Autocar exclusively, which Autosport obviously got a good heads up on, then the rest of the web ran it. It disappeared and reappeared a few times on the site that morning until the final version left out some details.
Aston Martin obviously would be very close to the automotive magazines which are very valuable to Haymarket, so you don't want to piss off advertisers and people who give you exclusive cars to test. And at the time the Prodrive Commercial Director(now Lotus Group Commercial Director)'s last job was CEO of Haymarket. So whatever problems there were with the Aston Martin/Prodrive F1 story getting out too soon or too detailed, would have only taken a call from the former CEO to the directors who would then tell the people running Autosport, either at the publishing or editorial level, to 'fix' that story.
There's lots of ways McLaren could have expressed their annoyance with Autosport over this story. Former F1 correspondent now McLaren guy Steve Cooper, former F1 Racing editor now McLaren communications boss Matt Bishop, LAT Photographic as the photographers for McLaren, Haymarket Customer Publishing(used to run Racing Line and did some work for Mobil 1).
Etc etc etc
Edited by Ross Stonefeld, 02 February 2012 - 00:10.