McLaren wants to keep Alonso's 'inner fire' burning

Published on 20 Apr 2017 10:45

Eric Boullier insists F1 rookie Stoffel Vandoorne is "not under pressure" amid McLaren-Honda's current performance crisis. One analysis of the situation might be that with the team struggling for pace and reliability, Belgian Vandoorne is risking his once-in-a-lifetime chance to prove he belongs in F1.

It comes after the highly rated Vandoorne, 24, was not able to even start in Bahrain due to a reliability problem, following two difficult races alongside teammate Fernando Alonso. But McLaren boss Boullier insists: "He is not under pressure. Stoffel knows that we believe in him and that we have him under contract for a long time," the Frenchman told Auto Motor und Sport. "He does not have to prove it to us in every race. We understand that this is not possible at the moment," Boullier added.

Meanwhile, Boullier admitted that he was not initially on board with McLaren executive Zak Brown's plan to let Alonso do the Indy 500 next month. But, as with the Vandoorne situation, the Frenchman eventually acknowledged that McLaren has to look after its drivers at the moment. "We do not want the fire in him (Alonso) to go out," he said. "Fernando wants to win, no matter what he does, and at the moment he cannot do that in formula one."

Finally, McLaren had a much better day of pace and reliability at the Bahrain test on Wednesday, but Boullier was cautious about celebrating too much. "If we knew why ... that is the problem," he is quoted by the Spanish daily AS.

Replies (6)
Posts: 313
I see this connection with honda breaking apart at the moment.
I´m pretty sure Alonso knew that a big part of the shareholders of McLaren were listening to the teamradio at the bahrain grand prix. I think this is why he said many things about the power of the engine in order to fire them up against Honda aswell..
Plus the talkings of Honda with Sauber etc pp. I´m quite sure McLaren has new engines next year except they´re going to find something really big at Honda.
Posts: 506
One of the funniest things in F1 in recent memory is still Alonso screaming "GP2 engine! GP2 engine!" at the Japanese grand prix.

I think this Indy deal is a fantastic idea as literally everybody wins. Well McLaren. In races. But we're used to that by now :-D
Posts: 506
Well EXCEPT McLaren, anyway.
DE juju_hound 20 Apr 2017 12:12+1
Posts: 109
Knowing Alonso's luck he will leave and McLaren will be back on top.
Posts: 313
yup. i also fear that.. wouldn´t be surprised if Hamilton is going back then to McLaren since Ron Dennis is gone and Fernando then..
NL mclarenfan1968 22 Apr 2017 13:470
Posts: 1014
HAH! that would be funny indeed but nah, this team is not Mclaren anymore it is only in name. Before we know it will be sold to some 3rd rate investors from some lousy place like China or somewhere else. Who will inturn look to slice up the company and its IPs for quick profits.

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