Eric Boullier, McLaren, Albert Park, 2018

Boullier resigns as McLaren seeks “major change”

2018 F1 season

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McLaren has announced the resignation of racing director Eric Boullier following the Formula 1 team’s poor start to the 2018 season.

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown, who accepted Boullier’s resignation yesterday, said the performance of the team’s car this year “has not met the expectations of anyone at McLaren, especially our loyal fans.”

“This is not the fault of the hundreds of committed and hard-working men and women at McLaren. The causes are systemic and structural, which require major change from within.”

The team split from engine supplier Honda, whose power units it repeatedly blamed for three years of poor performances, at the end of last season. The team took on a Renault customer engine deal this year but is lagging behind both the Renault works team and fellow Renault customers Red Bull.

“With today’s announcement, we start to address those issues head on and take the first step on our road to recovery,” Brown added.

“I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the entire team to thank Eric for his service and contribution to McLaren and wish him well in his future endeavours.”

Boullier had been under increased pressure following comments made by an anonymous McLaren employee to a newspaper which claimed there was a “toxic atmosphere” in the team. Pressed on the matter during the French Grand Prix two weeks ago, Boullier said at the time he would not retire.

McLaren MCL33, Shanghai International Circuit, 2018
Why McLaren is falling far short of F1 perfection
Boullier joined the team from Lotus at the beginning of 2014. He said he is “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.”

“I want to wish everyone at McLaren the best for the remainder of the season and for the future,” he added.

McLaren said a “simplified” technical leadership had been put in place following his departure. IndyCar champion and Indianapolis 500 winner Gil de Ferran, who was sporting director of former F1 team BAR between 2005 and 2007, has been appointed as McLaren’s new sporting director.

Former Ferrari race engineer Andrea Stella has become the team’s performance director with responsibility for trackside operations. McLaren Racing chief operating officer Simon Roberts will handle production and logistical matters.

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Keith Collantine
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  • 127 comments on “Boullier resigns as McLaren seeks “major change””

    1. McLaren seem to need big changes to be successful again in F1. This looks to be the start, hope it doesn’t turn out to be a wasted opportunity to really make a significant restructuring.

      1. For a few years now we hear about McLaren being radical but so far a radical that works is yet to be seen.

        1. Indeed, they are terrible at being conventional it seems.

          1. McLaren said a “simplified” technical leadership had been put in place following his departure

            @tonyyeb @spoutnik pretty big if, but if that means getting rid of the matrix structure thingy….it might mean a radical change towards being conventional.

            so a start?

      2. Try a bloddy miracle! a real big one! Their chassis is so bad that they aren’t even near Renault but dead last. And Red Bulls wins with the same engine or is it now the drivers Red Bull pair much better then McLaren pair just fire then also for the england GP that will shake up things!

        1. Red bull pair is really strong, maybe the strongest of the grid when verstappen performs like he did lately, alonso can certainly be as good or better than them, vandoorne is just not on it this season, if there’s someone to replace it’s him.

    2. I hope that scum of a journalist is happy now.

      1. Sush meerkat
        4th July 2018, 11:24

        Jonathan Mcevoy? Yeah it seemed weird to me that all Toxic articles regarding Boullier came from one person.

        1. Why would they come from multiple sources? He had the scoop. The person inside Mclaren he was talking to obviously wasn’t going to have a press conference on Thursday of a race weekend.

          1. Sush meerkat
            4th July 2018, 18:37

            This is the Johnathan mcevoy of the daily mail, that’s why I find it weird, it’s a sensationalist British tabloid.

            I don’t think stating mMcLaren are in disarray as a scoop, we all know that, it’s the content on his peices

      2. I hope he loses his job!!

      3. Why do you think he is a scum? Seriously it seems to me like he was reporting what someone inside was dealing with at Mclaren. Doesn’t surprise me at all that a company like Mclaren would be toxic. The Freddo thing is kind of common in the corporate world these days. Boullier getting fired makes it seem even more plausible.

    3. What a ridiculous mess that entire organisation is. Good people constantly being scapegoated. No self-awareness.

      1. Eric is a fine guy but was it working anyway? I didn’t like his period as racing director, I didn’t think he was a good fit for Ron’s McLaren anyway, and maybe it’s good that he’s leaving. Thing is, I don’t like Zak Brown either…

        1. Zak has proven his competence as owner of United Auto Sports.
          He’s only recently taken over as Racing Director at McLaren – he gave Eric some time but things weren’t going well and a change is needed.
          Give him a chance.

      2. Now we can fight

    4. Can’t say I’ll be sad to see him go. Makes you wonder about Martin Whitmarsh’s comments and appearance in McLaren’s garage not so long ago…

    5. Let’s hope McLaren doesn’t turn into a parody of the football club that keeps replacing it’s manager every other day as they desperately try to avoid addressing any of the actual problems.

    6. So I’m guessing Kimi ain’t gonna be joining now.

    7. Zak Brown can go too IMO

      1. @noname I’m genuinely interested: I don’t follow McLaren too close and I only know Brown and Boullier from interviews. Thing is, both never looked to me truly dedicated, reliable professionists: maybe it’s something irrational, but when I hear Wolf, Arrivabene, Horner talk, I have the sensation that these people have complete control of the situation and know what they’re saying; these are people I would respect because they convey something that says that can guide and command. It was the same with Dennis and also other personalities in the paddock, like Steiner at Haas. But these guys.. I don’t know, I wouldn’t follow their lead.

        1. @m-bagattini – very nice observation, and looking back on my memories of the people you named, I’d have to agree.

        2. Funny you mention Dennis as he is responsible for the mess Zak is dealing with.
          After all, he brought Honda into the mix, correct?

          1. Wasn’t it Whitmarsh?

          2. And Zak left Honda right when they made a good enough engine, Honda that was also paying a 3rd of their budget.

            1. Honda has made a good engine? I think your premise is a bit premature.
              Zak quit McLaren for the good of the company.
              As bad as they are now, at least they are regularly scoring points.

        3. Steiner the lunatic?!

        4. Yep, Brown does not have the charisma you are speaking of.
          (I’ve to say that I don’t know him personally and can’t judge his everday activity at McLaren.)

        1. @gunusugeh

          that goes without saying. everything is alonso’s fault. even hamilton’s poor form this year, whining on the radio.
          the demise of McLaren and lewis’ poor results there since 2009 is all alonso’s fault too.

      2. Agreed, from what I’ve seen of him he is a marketing man through and through – he probably has the confidence to run a team, but not the skillset or charisma.

    8. Sonny Crocket
      4th July 2018, 10:33

      Cadbury’s share price dropped 10% following the announcement due to the anticipated slump in sales of its “Freddo” chocolate bar.

      1. OK, now that’s just wicked :-)

    9. According to McLarens own media, the main issue with the car is that the wind tunnel data doesn’t agree with what happens on track, is this Eric’s fault? if not, the problems within the team will still exist and a good manager is gone.

      1. if its wind tunnel issue, then its the same correlation issue that force india had.

      2. Hardly a good manager. Since 2014 each year is worse. He let (or should I say caused) the relationship with Honda detiorate to the point that it had to be desolved. He let his best driver skip an event to drive at another series. The team’s motivation and unity never seemed lower.

        If that’s a good manager I don’t know what a bad one is.

        1. Yep. Not to mention he came from Lotus.

    10. This is what happens when you are building “best chassis in paddock” for 3 consecutive years!

    11. Not toxic at all

      1. you think they gave him a freddo to thank him for his work?

        1. That or a plastic cup of Chandon. The zero brand of course, can’t promote alcoholism as a cutting edge top dog organization after all.

          1. they can promote hats, at least they have that going for them

            1. He gets a one month subscription to Autosport and Motorsport and 10% off Kimoa products.

            2. @johnmilk

              of course you know that deal is to save money on alonso’s wages to retain his ability to scrape some surprise points here and there. which earnt them an extra 20 million in 2016.

              they should be running two junior drivers though on no more than 1 million per year whilst the car is slow.

    12. Now they can fight.

    13. Sonny Crocket
      4th July 2018, 10:46

      As a McLaren fan I’m not sure the appointment of a former Indy Car driver – albeit one with experience at BAR Honda – gives me much enthusiasm for the future.

      If anything it points towards McLaren moving into Indy Car and further diluting its focus on F1.

      1. True. After a disastrous few seasons, they replace a team principal with 20 years of F1 experience, with an Indy 500 winner and ex-Le Mans team owner. De Ferran’s F1 experience is as non-existent, as is his record of being a good team principal in motorsports.

        Ron made the decision to hire Capito, who although was from WRC, had tremendous success as a team principal. He also brought the experience of working with the biggest manufacturers. It was expected that McLaren’s new management was going to send Capito packing since they didn’t want any “Ron influence” at Mclaren. It’s incredibly daft of Mclaren’s investors to remove the “toxic” influence of a man who made McLaren the power house it was in F1. Hiring Boullier was a safer decision though.. but hiring some ex-Indy driver who dabbles in other series from time to time?!? What on earth are they thinking?

        I can’t see Alonso sticking around any longer. To be honest, I think the clock is ticking on Zak as well. I would be absolutely shocked if he was still around at McLaren in 2020.

        1. It is probably beneficial for both McLaren and Alonso if they split.

          Question is, will Alonso still pursue a drive in F1? If so he will most likely lose the freedom he enjoys now. Also if he leaves McLaren and want to still be in F1 next year, is there really a place to go? I can only think of Renault…

          1. During preseason testing itself, I was fairly certain that it would either be Renault in 2019 for Alonso, or an exit from the sport. It would be foolish of Renault to not try and get Alonso on board, as he’s a heck of a lot better than both their current drivers, but as you mentioned, he might not get the freedom to chase the triple crown at Renault.

          2. @johnmilk

            hamilton is holding up any driver movement. merc can’t sign anyone (such as the bargain priced Riccairdo) until he agrees.

            question is where would hamilton go?
            most fans would relish seeing him at Ferrari but Vettel blocks that happening if not Ferrari like merc havn’t been able to handle two top tier drivers since Prost-Mansell.

        2. But wasn’t Eric hired during Ron’s watch, when the latter ejected Whitmarsh and re-captured control of the team at the start of 2014?

          Jost Capito was initially brought on board to serve as McLaren Racing CEO, and Ron’s plan was for him to manage the racing team in general; with Boullier under him, to take care of its day-to-day operations. The move also enabled Jonathan Neale to move on to running the McLaren Technology Group.

          Even Zak Brown himself was invited to join McLaren by Ron Dennis (the irony!), to help the team sign new sponsors.

          I think McLaren’s decline started when Ron handed over the reins to Martin Whitmarsh in 2009. From there the team seemed to have relaxed more and its employees appeared to be happier overall, but slowly their discipline and focus slipped.

          Under Ron (1981 – 2008), McLaren employees were either inspired or forced (threatened) to double down on their commitment and efforts to doing their jobs. Whereas under Whitmarsh, and now Brown/Boullier, it seems people got a good pat on the back (and a Freddo) for doing just the bare minimum.

          The problem now for McLaren is that while they long for similar glory days like when the team was under Ron, they likely just prefer the memory of the him (and his antics/style) to the man himself. When Ron re-took control in 2014, McLaren was already too different to the team he let go 6 years prior: they’d grown used to working under less stressful/overbearing leadership, and too many new people had filtered through — each one making his/her own mark in helping evolving the culture (e.g. Sam Michael). Plus, Dennis himself was likely too old by that time, to exert the same sort of energy he did in 1981; when he set out to successfully transforming the team.

          It will take years for McLaren to regain their form. I have a feeling that like Ferrari from 1979-2000, the Woking team is in the middle of a period where success will be barren for a series of years. But I’m optimistic enough, that at the end of it all they will taste (multiple) championship success again.

          1. @rafael-o

            I think McLaren’s decline started when Ron handed over the reins to Martin Whitmarsh in 2009. From there the team seemed to have relaxed more and its employees appeared to be happier overall, but slowly their discipline and focus slipped.

            Are you kidding? What are you currently smoking? Did you not watch the 2010, 2011 & 2012 seasons where McLaren had the best or second best car on the grid?

            1. I agree, and how many WDC and WCC did McLaren win in those years?

            2. Okay, they had the best/2nd best car during those years (2010-2012)… And the best it ever amounted to were two 4th place finishes for Lewis Hamilton in the standings (2010 and 2012). He was never the contender, but always just an outsider with a possibility to win.
              (Button’s 2nd place finish in 2011 means nothing, RBR and Vettel were untouchable that year)

              What I said was not meant to slag Whitmarsh. But you can’t deny that McLaren started to lose its grip the moment Ron Dennis handed over command of the team. Then again, Ron coming back full-time in 2014 wasn’t particularly the right move either.

        3. Yup, compare this decision to Sauber’s.

          Sauber’s!

        4. @todfod, the thing is, there are those who have suggested that, in more recent years, Ron Dennis was having a negative impact on the team rather than a positive one.

          Barnard, for example, has suggested that Ron Dennis became distracted by his own overambition and eagerness to become a major business figure as he started up the automotive division, and then subsequent other divisions, at the expense of focussing on the racing team.

          It was Ron who is cited as poisoning the relationship between McLaren and Mercedes, persuading Mercedes to ditch McLaren and focus on their own team, and also Ron who is cited as the one who chose to push McLaren towards Honda, before pressuring Honda to rush into F1 with the resultant disastrous impact on performance because he was impatient to kick the last vestiges of Mercedes out of McLaren.

          There have also been suggestions that, whilst Whitmarsh has been criticised for his governance of the team, behind the scenes Ron was waging a power struggle against Whitmarsh and partially undermined his time in charge in the belief it would help him regain control of the team (even if it ultimately hurt the team).

          He’s stood accused of stabbing old allies in the back, not least Mansour Ojjeh – the co-founder of the team and Dennis’s long term ally until, after a falling out between the two, Ron decided to use a period of illness by Mansour to try and throw him out of the team instead, only to find that he had destroyed the trust of so many of his former allies that he was increasingly left fighting on his own.

          There are also complaints that McLaren is ultimately worse off because, in the past, Ron kept trying to charge too high a price for sponsorship deals of a magnitude that just don’t exist any more – almost as if he thought that the world was still in the pre-2008 financial crisis years, not many years later and an environment where nobody was throwing around the sort of cash he kept demanding.

          As some have said of him, Ron has, in many ways, made McLaren what it is – both in terms of its current problems as well as what it was in its golden era.

          1. For the love of Ford, anon, please register an account! XDDD

          2. As some have said of him, Ron has, in many ways, made McLaren what it is – both in terms of its current problems as well as what it was in its golden era.

            So Bernie, Project 4 version?

      2. Lack of focus in F1 is their first real problem imo.

      3. Well, they might be seeing the cost of involvement in F1 vs. IndyCar, as well as the fact that the US is a great sportscar market.

      4. pastaman (@)
        4th July 2018, 13:53

        What does that have to do with anything? There are zero current racing directors who are former F1 drivers, has that been a problem? No.

    14. McLaren fans at the moment:

      “No Anakin, you are going down a path I cannot follow”

      1. From my point of view Honda is evil!

        1. “Peace is a lie, there is only Passion. Through Passion I gain Strength. Through Strength, I gain Power. Through Power, I gain Victory. Through Victory my chains will be broken, The Force shall free me.”

          Well, who knew, Honda is evil but it is the path to Victory. Congrats RedBull for being the new Sith Lord.

          The republic is overrated anyway

          1. *Horner puts on Cloak talking to Verstappen* Every single Renault, including your friend, Carlos Sainz Junior, is now an enemy of the Republic

          2. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
            4th July 2018, 11:19

            Someone’s been on Korriban lately

            1. oh yes, nice to year the proper name, not that filth spat by the rebel scum

        2. Horner: Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth Ron the Bald?

          Boullier: Non?

          Horner: I thought not. It’s not a story McLaren would tell you. It’s an F1 legend. Darth Ron employed an aerodynamicist, so powerful and so wise he could use the aerodynamics to influence the air molecules to create downforce… He had such a knowledge of the dark side, he could even generate downforce without creating drag.

          Boullier: He could actually eliminate drag?

          Horner: The dark side aerodynamics is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.

          Boullier: What happened to him?

          Horner: He became so successful… the only thing he was afraid of was losing his chief aerodynamicist to another team, which eventually, of course, he did. Unfortunately, he then signed an engine deal with Honda, then his shareholders ousted him in his sleep. Ironic. He could save others from being fired, but not himself.

          Boullier: Is it possible to employ this aerodynamicist?

          Horner: Not for McLaren…

          1. Bit hazy with the timeline but a solid +10000 :D

          2. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
            4th July 2018, 13:16

            Brilliant

          3. @mazdachris – LOL, hilarious and entertaining!

          4. @mazdachris winning the internet

          5. And the champion of the internet for the day is @mazdachris.

            1. +1000

          6. Neil (@neilosjames)
            4th July 2018, 16:28

            @mazdachris probably the best comment I’ve ever read!

          7. Vettel fan 17 (@)
            5th July 2018, 22:28

            Somebody make this into a movie
            “Revenge of the Honda”

    15. McLaren have been a hubristic mess for years now, since 2013 they’ve delivered consistently sub-par chassis. Boullier at times looks a bit lost but he doesn’t design the car. If they go to Indycar it will be a mistake, they must sort out F1 soon or be another Williams post-BMW. I know McLaren have a lot more inherent wealth than Williams but they’re certainly not a top team at the moment.

    16. Haha wow, writing was on the wall!

      I hope he lands safely and McLaren really lift from here…

      1. I think you are correct.
        Ferrari had the same problem with their own wind tunnel in the 2010 – 2014 years. It seemed by mid season in those years they started working on the next years chassis because of poor performance.
        They finally ended up used Toyota’s.
        Eric is not at fault, just a scapegoat.

    17. McLaren said a “simplified” technical leadership had been put in place following his departure.

      Does this mean that the Dennis/Whitmarsh era “matrix management” structure is on the way out at McLaren?

    18. Wow, run Alonso. Run far away to IndyCar.

      Obviously they have big problems, but getting an ex-Indy driver and BAR’s director from over decade ago to run things does not inspire faith in this team.

    19. Hard to judge on the outside what is really needed at McLaren. Not something for press or the public. I wish them well and most of all luck.

    20. I didn’t see this coming, LOL.

    21. It seems McLaren has been constantly experiencing major changes since 2012 : change of management, change of drivers, of engines, change of organisational culture… I believe it’s normal that organisation’s performance suffers from these changes.

      It also looks like the team has finished applying all the recent change. But what has happened now is that the team believes the remedy to their bad situation is even more change, major changes they say. Maybe, it would have been better to take some time to finish the previous change processes, and accept that they should take time. But maybe, there are too many shareholders to immediately satisfy by firing people and saying only one person is to blame and everything else is well.

      I predict that McLaren’s problems are here to stay, and if they don’t change their approach, I really fear for their future…

      1. Shuffling people isn’t the whole answer. If their Renault engine is the same as other Renault engines, then the real problem is the chassis, which may or may not include aero thingies. They need to start again, with a new chassis designed from the geometry up. It can’t just be aero that’s holding them up. De Ferran can try, but he won’t solve anything unless they start from the floor and re-think the whole car.

    22. Joe Saward has an interesting piece on this with a little background here:

      https://www.motorsportweek.com/joeblogsf1/id/00258

      Apologies of course if links are not allowed.

      1. Nice story, thanks @ahxshades . It also paints a more sympathetic picture of Boullier, in contrast to a lot of the comments, which leaves me confused if he’s villain or victim.

        I also liked this sentence about the matrix management system:

        When Ron Dennis was still around everyone knew who the boss was – even if the system existed in that era – but after he disappeared the matrix management seemed to take on a life of its own and to fall over itself. The team has been highly political in recent months.

        1. @phylyp, like you I wonder if he is being fairly portrayed in the comments, and some stories on various sites, after all – few of us know really what is happening within the team. As for the matrix Management system and knowing who is in charge – there have been similar stories around the Williams team also recently. Its really unfortunate, but hopefully we can characterise this as growing pains as they work the team into a better place.

    23. I doubt this will make any difference at all to be honest. I think what McLaren need is a absolute top drawer technical director of the stature of a Symonds, Brawn or Allison. When James Allison left Ferrari, McLaren 100% should have put a bigger offer than Mercedes in to tempt him. Why not try to poach Paddy Lowe from Williams. Sure, he hasn’t been great this season, but McLaren were actually at least winning races when he was their technical director. A Lowe-Prodromu relationship could perhaps produce a decent car.

      1. Completely agree. There are enough marketing, operations and management people around at McLaren, what they need is strong technical staff… a top notch technical director to be honest. I think Paddy worked well at McLaren, so I don’t understand why they wouldn’t try as hard as possible to get him back.

        We have Renault and Ferrari hiring very aggressively from the FIA, and teams like Mercedes and red Bull with top names as technical directors, and on the other hand we have McLaren who fire Boullier to hire a random ex-Indy driver as team principal.

        If I were McLaren I would be trying my level best to get Symonds from the FIA (without any gentleman’s agreements being followed) and Paddy from Williams. Its about time McLaren start playing the game. They’re going to fade away in to obscurity at their current rate.

        1. I think Paddy worked well at McLaren, so I don’t understand why they wouldn’t try as hard as possible to get him back.

          They probably saw what he’s done at Williams, and decided that he’s of more help to McLaren by staying at Williams.

          (That’s a humourous statement, btw, he did seem to do well at Merc).

    24. Eric, Zak and Alonso are scapegoats – they didn’t cause this mess.
      The culprit is long gone – Mr. Ron Dennis.

      1. Horner will thank Denis for bringing Honda back to the sport. Just imagine RB fight for victories next year.

        1. Actually, they are doing quite well as of late with the Renault engine.
          Hope they haven’t outsmarted themselves – Honda still has a long way to go.
          Oh well, no turning back now.

    25. What did happen with Capito? He seemed to be hired, stood in the back of the garage for a few races then disappeared. Was he closely tied to Ron? It seemed very strange at the time. What triggered all this 5 or 6 years ago? What did Ron and Mansour Ojjeh fall out over? I’m sure someone will speak years down the track, Hamilton jumping, Martin pushed?

      1. @bernasaurus – he was a Ron appointee, so he naturally had to go: https://www.mclaren.com/formula1/team/mclaren-prepares-increased-growth-key-new-appointments/

        Ron Dennis (Executive Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Technology Group) said:

        “I first approached Jost last summer.”

      2. @bernasaurus I believe he was part of the Ron Dennis “cleansing”

      3. @bernasaurus, with regards to the question of what Ron Dennis and Mansour Ojjeh are said to have fallen out over, whilst it is not certain, it is suggested that it was over the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix.

        It is suggested that Ron Dennis wanted to make a stand and make a public call for the race to be cancelled, and possibly even suggested that McLaren should boycott the race to protect the team and its staff.

        That placed Mansour Ojjeh, who was already suffering from quite severe health problems at the time, in a rather difficult situation – asides from the pressure on the team from Mumtalakat to proceed with the race, it seems that he felt that Dennis’s move created the risk of further politicising the argument and dragging McLaren into the wider regional politics, something which he felt would be more dangerous and damaging to the team in the longer term.

        Now, traditionally Ojjeh and Ron had an agreement that they would always vote with each other, so Ron expected Ojjeh would vote for his proposal against that of the other shareholders in McLaren. However, Ojjeh, who was chairing that vote, instead chose to vote in the way that he thought was in the best interests of the team and chose to vote against Ron, breaking the agreement that they’d operated until then.

        When that happened, Ron was very angry and treated Ojjeh’s decision as a total betrayal, with Ron becoming completely dead set against him after that. With Mansour Ojjeh’s health rapidly worsening at the time, in 2013 he ended up in hospital for his double lung transplant: Ron Dennis then allegedly tried to use Mansour’s illness and absence as an opportunity to “get even” with him by trying to kick him out of McLaren and tried to replace him with somebody whom he could more easily control.

        The other aspect is that it seems Ojjeh also objected to the way in which Ron Dennis pushed Whitmarsh out of the team, as it seems that he felt that the way in which Ron treated Whitmarsh showed him very little respect (and that Ron had also taken advantage of Ojjeh’s absence to kick Whitmarsh out). Again, it seems that Ron’s behaviour there, and the fact that he chose to act behind Ojjeh’s back, seems to have only further strained that relationship to breaking point.

        It’s a situation where it seems that Dennis, feeling wronged, chose to retaliate rather than to try for some sort of reconciliation, and chose to split with Ojjeh in a way that helped his own downfall.

        1. anon – many thanks for that very illustrative comment, I had no idea about all these going-ons in the background.

        2. Yep. This is exactly how I remember, too.
          Ron crossed a line he shouldn’t. Not once but twice or more.

          1. Why can I hear in my head the words “Anon Rencken, Racing Lines and Race Fans dot net” when I read that post?

    26. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      4th July 2018, 13:46

      I’m surprised Eric lasted as long as he did at McLaren. I don’t believe he was the problem but I also don’t believe he would have been able to provide a solution.

      It didn’t take a genius to see that the atmosphere at McLaren was toxic or “stifling” so I don’t think it’s one journalist’s fault. I believe this was obvious to anyone who watched the McLaren documentary on Netflix. Eric is probably lucky to no longer be a part of that atmosphere.

      We also have a chance to compare McLaren to Mercedes where a team member made a huge mistake costing Lewis the victory (at the time before the DNF) and was able to come out and accept responsibility. Now there’s a team that can improve.

    27. Oh well this is the end for McLaren in F1 if Zac and Alonso (who seems to have an unusual amount of power for just a driver) are going to give the top jobs to their mates and are both steering the ship towards Indy for their own individual interests.

      It’s time for Mansour Ojjeh to step in and get rid of the pair of them! Ron (even though I can’t stand the bloke) would never have allowed a driver to direct the team the way Alonso seems to be doing, bringing his own toxic brand of self aggrandizement to new levels. We all saw how that was dealt with in 2007 and I have all the more respect for Ron now with hindsight.

    28. So now they can fight i suppose.

    29. Good decision I think. After seeing the Honda documentary and his interviews, I have never got the vibe that he was passionate about the team. I hope they get rid of Jonathan Neale and Zak Brown too.

      Regarding the new appointments, lets give them time. They may work. Impossible for us arm chair experts to know if they are capable or not.

    30. To be honest teams with boullier never excelled, I wondered why mclaren ever chose him, he seems to bring bad negativity and results following him. Sadly, I thing he will be with Renault again very soon, its aligning itself that way with manufacturer updates.

    31. I was surprised when he was appointed in the first place, not a good choice all those years ago and things have got progressively worse. Let’s hope with him going and some new leadership we see improved performance from Mclaren.

    32. Time to axe Brown and Alonso too..

        1. @jd389 @jorge-lardone

          you’re both delluded if you think swinging the axe will somehow have McLaren competing with Brawn’s legacy at Merc.
          Ferrari’s many axings and driver swap didn’t take them to a new level. In fact Merc overtook them and they’re still 2nd.

    33. Ahhh… this explains the strained interview with Mr. B. during the Austrian grid walk.
      Boullier did not want a microphone stuck in his face. Now I know why.

    34. I wonder if this was an ‘encouraged’ resignation or whether this was something he decided on his own. I’m interested to understand if this is a genuine restructuring process or whether it’s people deserting the team and Mclaren putting a spin on it. I’m just not sure Boullier’s role feels like the right place to start restructuring.

      Mclaren hasn’t won a race since 2012. Their fundamental problem is that they just haven’t been building competitive cars for 6 years. Honda just gave them a scapegoat for a few years and took the focus off the Mclaren team. Getting rid of Boullier doesn’t feel like it addresses the problems that they have.

      Becoming competitive again is going to be as much about longer term strategy and culture change as it is about fixing the aero problems the team is currently experiencing. If this move is part of a broader ongoing change process it may be a positive move. However if this is a knee jerk reaction, which it might be if you’re hiring Gil de Farren, I think Mclaren is more likely to go backwards rather than improve.

    35. Fine.
      Now it is necessary to fire Alonso so that the air stops being toxic at McLaren. And to start over with new and good people.

      1. @jorge-lardone

        gr ow up jorge. every other post of yours is about getting Alonso out of F1.
        How about having a go at Lewis or Seb for forcing driver line-ups to be stale?

        Learn a bit about politics in F1 and who the real d/rty players are.
        You could also back up your theory by naming a single team who improved when Alonso left. FYI McLaren went toxic under Lewis, they should have dumped him and built the team around Button.

    36. Rob (@sundiesel)
      5th July 2018, 1:18

      I really can’t think of anything positive to add, except, McLaren talk about making “major changes”. To many of we (once) so called “Loyal McLaren Fans” the major change would be to get rid of the crass yank, send him packing……….and bring back Eric and RON. OK, so things weren’t the best under Rons rule, but they’re far worse now under this crass yank.

    37. Alonso better start calling INDYCAR teams now. It’s going to be years of rebuilding before McLaren get back to being a top team again – if ever.

      1. Most true comment here.
        McLaren wont get back to the top under the ICE engine era unless road relevance is completely abandoned.
        F1 will die as we know it by 2025 anyway.
        Merc and Co are killing the formula at the same time as hedging their bets in Formula E. Disgraceful self serving politics than Alonso could only dream of.

    38. It will be interesting to see what the flamboyant criminal Briatore can do for Fred for 2019.

      1. Wasn’t it Briatore who pushed to get the National anthems changed to suit pretend Italian,German and Austrian teams?

    39. It would be unfair and foolish to blame everything on Boulier but it was his job to make them and keep them competitive and he did fail at that, there is no doubt.

      They need to keep firing people though, it will not be enough to just chop the head off and put a new head on. I suspect that Boulier may have had some plans to fix it all but could not get them pushed through the bureaucracy.

      Heavily and bloated corporate structures do not work in racing teams.

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