Boullier defends his position at McLaren


With its initial target of taking on the big three having been subsequently modified to Red Bull, having now lost fourth place in the standings to Renault, McLaren is under increasing pressure from Haas and Force India, though neither has had the most consistent start to the season.

Having ditched Honda for Renault, there remain a number of issues clearly hampering the Woking outfit, not least the 'departure' of chief technical director Tim Goss.

Though Fernando Alonso continues to flatter the machinery given him by the Woking team, in his second full season teammate Stoffel Vandoorne has failed to set the world alight, and is the only driver to have been out-qualified by his teammate at every event.

However, it is at the top of the food chain that many feel the real issues lie, and while the team owners seem content with Zak Brown - for now - in recent weeks there has been speculation over the future of team principal Eric Boullier.

However, at the end of this week's first in-season test, the Frenchman was adamant that he is the man to take the team forward. Indeed, asked if he believes he is the right man for the job, the response was immediate. "Yes, I think so," he said.

"It's hard work," he continued. "There's always a lot of expectation, obviously from McLaren and from a lot of people. I think in my past life, I've been managing, rebuilding, restructuring a few teams, and I won with all of them, in any category I was. We need to make sure we can make it and deliver it on time."

Talk coming out of Woking is that Goss' departure was one of several changes in the pipeline, with claims that chief engineering officer Matt Morris and chief technical officer - aero Peter Prodromou will follow.

Asked if he has been set any targets, Boullier again suggests that al is well.

"No orders are needed," he said. "We know what we need to do. We had to improve the reliability, we had to improve the performance. We have now some other teams using the same power units, so at least we have some references. This is what we are working on. It's a long way to go.

"Spain was another step," he added, "but any future races, we keep bringing development. Modern Formula One is not about bringing a magic package. It's bringing step by step and incrementally a lot of performance through the season. Everybody is doing the same. We have to work harder than the others to get where you want to be."

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Published: 19/05/2018
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