Perhaps the old notion that if a team is performing poorly, you don’t fire the entire team, you part ways with the coach is applicable today…maybe it’s not. Regardless, Eric Boullier has left McLaren as the Race Director and McLaren boss Zak Brown has taken this opportunity to simplify the leadership team.
These changes may impact the team in a positive way but just what it can do for the current car and the struggles it has remains to be seen. Gil de Ferran hasn’t been in F1 for quite a while (BAR Honda) but he’s been consulting with McLaren for a while on the young driver program.
The recent spate of stories in the press about mutiny, disgruntled and demoralized employees has added to the drama but something tells me that the issues derive at the boardroom level and ownership, not just Eric Boullier. This team has been in tumult for some time now and perhaps this change can re-energize them. I do hope they gave Eric the box of Freddo’s on his way out the door. It’s the least they could do.
McLaren Racing today announced a leadership restructure of its racing operations, with immediate effect.
McLaren Racing Chief Executive Zak Brown yesterday accepted Eric Boullier’s resignation from his position as Racing Director. He also announced a simplified technical leadership team.
Simon Roberts, COO of McLaren Racing, will oversee production, engineering and logistics. Andrea Stella is appointed Performance Director, responsible for trackside operations. Gil de Ferran takes up the new role of Sporting Director, to maximise the effectiveness of the team’s racing package.
These changes are the beginning of a comprehensive programme of positive changes to the technical leadership of McLaren’s racing organisation. The team will invest to retain and attract the best talent, internally and externally, to return McLaren Racing to the front of the grid.
Zak Brown, CEO, McLaren Racing, said:
“The performance of the MCL33 in 2018 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. With today’s announcement, we start to address those issues head on and take the first step on our road to recovery.
“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.”
Eric Boullier said:
“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. I want to wish everyone at McLaren the best for the remainder of the season and for the future.”