McLaren has denied its 2015 driver lineup is delayed due to a behind-the-scenes "problem".
The British team is taking heavy criticism for leaving 2009 world champion Jenson Button in the lurch, and endangering the career of the Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen.
"A team that has made a reputation of being indecisive has elevated the art to new heights," said Kevin Eason, writing in The Times. "Their behaviour has been shameful."
Team supremo Ron Dennis is being universally blamed for the painfully protracted delay, amid rumours he is locked in a behind-the-scenes shareholding wrangling with Mansour Ojjeh and the Bahraini co-owners.
Team boss Eric Boullier told Sky television: "There is no problem. It is just (a matter of) taking the time to consider what is good for McLaren."
It is an open secret that Fernando Alonso has already been signed for 2015, and now McLaren is essentially confirming that his teammate will be either Button or Magnussen.
"Our responsibility is to make McLaren win again," said Boullier, "and both drivers are terrific drivers.
"Jenson is obviously a world champion and we would love to carry on with both of them, but we have to decide what is the best position for the team," he added.