'Pressure' led to Eric Boullier exit - Brown

Published on 05 Jul 2018 09:35

Zak Brown says "pressure" on McLaren led to the departure of team boss Eric Boullier.

Amid McLaren's continuing performance crisis and rumblings of internal staff strife, Frenchman Boullier 'resigned' this week.

"It was a very difficult time for everyone at McLaren with a lot of pressure on our shoulders," team executive Brown told L'Equipe.

"In the end, he felt that McLaren needed to move forward. It was not a surprise. We have been under pressure and underperforming for too long," he added.

When asked if Boullier was told to resign or he actually resigned, Brown answered: "I do not intend to go into detail about my exchanges with Eric. I don't think it's appropriate."

At the same time as Boullier's departure, McLaren announced that consultant Gil de Ferran will now step into a full time sporting director role.

Brown said Andrea Stella will be in charge on race weekends.

"The situation we are in did not occur in a day and will not be resolved in a day," Brown warned. "Today is the first step to return to the path to victory."

As for whether Boullier's existing role will be replaced, Brown said he wasn't sure.

"This is the beginning of a process and I think we will examine it further in due course."

What is clear is that Fernando Alonso is probably happy with the changes, as he is close to Brown, his former Ferrari race engineer Stella, and Indy 500 champion de Ferran.

Brown admits the Spaniard was "involved" in the restructuring.

And he admitted that one of McLaren's problems in the last few years was "communication", especially after claiming in the Honda era that it had the best car.

"We do not have the best chassis," he admitted. "At least not this year.

"We do have to admit that we made mistakes in communication. It is always dangerous to make predictions and pronouncements. From today's point of view, we would have done something quite different."

Replies (9)
Posts: 225
It's a shame, I like to see people backed to come good, essentially Eric is a top guy and it looked to me like he wasn't able to command all the troops, politics and as a leader you have to be master of all these things. Im sure we'll see him back.
DE juju_hound 05 Jul 2018 09:490
Posts: 154
"Today is the first step to return to the path to victory."

I would rather call it a hundread-first step to the path to victory
Posts: 14
Gotta “love” how Fernando manages to literally apply his politics in every team he’s been. He’s a political plague in this respect...
Posts: 79
Well it has been pointed out, Eric Boullier seems ill. He looks about 15 years older than his stated age and he has all the healthy glow of a Steve Bannon (my syphilis has herpes). Also he has lost the respect of the boys on the team who are joking about him openly, while the constructor points show the trajectory of a parabola aimed straight at the ground.
US Ram Samartha 07 Jul 2018 00:420
Posts: 241
Same thing happened to Whitmarsh before he left. He looked like he was about to fall over dead. Leaving was probably the best thing that happened to him at the time.
Posts: 253
I agree Alsonso can't make a right move moving from team to team perhaps he can't give proper feedback. Boulder appears to love the grape too much his weight his face all points to that. Mclaren was at its best run by Dennis but bringing him back won't help. Letting the guys do their job to solve this probably will make things turn around. I feel that boullier probably picked and chose solutions leading to the crisis and his departure. Williams seems to be in a similar situation going from a best of the rest to a team that kept loosing downforce to where the car is now undrivable because the power of the MB engine just accentuates the chassis woes.
US mcbhargav 05 Jul 2018 19:100
Posts: 690
No sir, you don't even have the 4th best chassis.
SE calle.itw 05 Jul 2018 19:170
Posts: 5480
I said heads were gonna roll, and Boullier's were the second to roll now. I cant say I liked the way he handled the media side of things, and as some others here say he hasnt really garnered much respect among his coworkers as of late, but I dont think he is the only one to blame here. There is just too much rotten in that team now, and the McLeaner's job wont be finished in a long long time. But I dont think Brown should go: this issue is clearly before his time, and the way he want to improve efficiency sounds good, in concept. But it will sadly not make me become a McLaren fan again in another while. :/
US Ram Samartha 07 Jul 2018 00:410
Posts: 241
It's obviously not just EB's fault what is going on at McLaren. He did a great job at Lotus which shows he is more than capable. I don't envy anyone going into that lackluster team. As much as I like Alonso as a racer, instead of constantly bitching he should be working harder on developing the car and stop complaining that others aren't getting it right. Typical Brits, if things aren't going right, blame the Frogs.

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