Brown says Boullier had to leave if McLaren slump was to end

- Advertisement -

Eric Boullier had to quit McLaren in order for Britain’s most successful Formula One team to rise from the worst slump in their history, chief executive Zak Brown has claimed.

Frenchman Boullier tendered his resignation to Brown only days before McLaren’s home race at Silverstone, leading to a dramatic shake-up of their management structure.

Gil de Ferrarn, who coached Fernando Alonso at last year’s Indy 500, takes up the new role of Sporting Director, while Andrea Stella, who moved to McLaren with Alonso from Ferrari, is promoted to Performance Director. Simon Roberts will be responsible for the technical aspects of the car.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Practice – Yas Marina Circuit
Eric Boullier is leaving McLaren (David Davies/PA).

He insisted only 12 days ago that he would not resign despite reports of a staff revolt at the team’s headquarters in Woking.

But, on the eve of the British Grand Prix, American Brown described Boullier’s immediate departure as the start of a new era for the woefully  underperforming team.

France F1 GP Auto Racing
McLaren are underperforming as a team (AP).

“It wasn’t a surprise. I have spent a lot of time with Eric and obviously we have been under a lot of pressure and underperforming for too long.

“Eric and I have had conversations as to how we can improve McLaren and what is the best way to do that.

“Ultimately he wants what it is best for McLaren. We had spoken about our challenges and the potential ways to address them.”

Ayrton Senna racing cars sale
McLaren have a proud history in F1 (PA).

Boullier claimed last season that McLaren were being held back by their engine supplier Honda, and in fact boasted one of the best cars in the field despite their underhwelming results.

McLaren spent £60million to sever ties with Honda and switch to Renault power, but still find themselves at the wrong end of the grid.

Alonso, who is out of contract at the end of the season, has scored all but eight of the team’s lowly 44 points this season.

2018/19 Formula One Season Package
Fernando Alonso has picked up most of McLaren’s points this season (Tim Goode/PA).

Brown added: “Our results have demonstrated that we have a big performance issue and we are punching well below our weight.

“We are now taking measures to rebuild McLaren to make us a race-winning organisation. We know we owe it to our team, to our drivers and to our fans.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit
Zak Brown does not like what he is seeing (David Davies/PA).

“The situation has not been created overnight, so it will not be fixed overnight. Today is our first step in getting back to winning ways.”

In a McLaren statement, Boullier added: “I am very proud to have worked with such a brilliant team over the past four years, but I recognise now is the right time for me to step down.”

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.