Is Eric Boullier the man for the McLaren job?

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Photo by: www.kymillman.com/f1

I remember the day they announced that Eric Boullier would be the new team principal for the former Renault F1 team which was bought by Genii Capital and Gerard Lopez. As an F1 fan sitting at home, I was not familiar with Eric’s past and I remember thinking, “who is this guy and where did he come from?”

In my limited line of sight, I was intrigued that a guy with no F1 experience would take the helm of a team. I had similar feelings about Cyril Abiteboul to be honest. Regardless, I don’t work in F1 so I’m no judge of who is qualified to be a team boss.

Now that Eric is at McLaren, it seems some in the F1 press have started asking questions about the team’s management structure and queried him as to if he was still the man for the job. While the team has had better reliability in 2018 having moved to Renault engines, they are still off the pace of their immediate rivals. Clearly, Eric would defend his role:

“Yes, I think so.

“It’s hard work. There’s a lot of expectation obviously from McLaren and from a lot of people.

“In my past life I’ve been managing, rebuilding, restructuring a few teams and I won with all of them in any category there was.

“I think I know my job and we need to make sure we can make it, deliver it on time.

“The timing needs to be the right time, not the wrong expectation.

“No orders are needed, we know what we need to do: we had to improve the reliability and we had to improve performance.”

To be fair, Eric went to school and studied aeronautical engineering. He then worked with the Spanish Racing Team, DAMS, A1 Team France and began a driver management role managing the careers of Ho-Pin Tung, Jerome D’Ambrosio and others. He spent four years at the Genii Capital team from 2010 until he left for McLaren in 2014.

The recent management re-shuffle at McLaren with Tim Goss has some wondering if there are more changes to come.

“We don’t want to comment much about what we are doing,” Boullier said.

“Obviously we are trying to be the best and being the best means also looking at how we can be more efficient in terms of our organisation.

“It’s part of life for a Formula 1 team to keep looking at how to deliver better and more.”

Fair enough, I wouldn’t expect him to tell the world who may be moved or not. Regardless, there is that old notion that when a team isn’t performing well, you don’t fire the team, you fire the coach/boss. It has been interesting to see what moves McLaren are making because they may signal the owners displeasure with where they are in this chassis and engine combination.

Many felt that with a Renault engine, they had the chassis to take on Red Bull but that hasn’t been the case so all that bravado about their superior chassis in the last three years may have been exposed with the departure of Honda. One wonders if the internal shakeup is a reaction to that exposure. So much so that you now have the press asking when Eric will be set out to pasture and that’s a bit odd if not uncomfortable.

Hat Tip: Autosport

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Rapierman

Well, in a way, Boullier is “Ron Lite”, so to speak. However, that can be a double-edged sword.

jakobusvdl

It is really hard to know where McLaren’s problems lie. They go back a lot further than Boullier, they’ve been in turmoil since Ron turned on Martin Witmarsh back in 2012. Boullier has obviously got some solid management credibility. He had a stellar start in F1 with Renault and Lotus. Getting Lotus F1 to the point where they were winning races in 2012 and 2013, on a much smaller budget than RBR, McLaren and Ferrari. So maybe he’s not the man who can turn McLaren around, but I’m sure if McLaren decide to fire him he’ll be snapped up into… Read more »

Marti

Whom would replace him??
There are NO obvious candidates
He IS running out of time to deliver
He IS following a pattern,
He IS attempting to replicate and turn McLaren into Lotus Renault
Binning Ron`s theory of works status, to become a customer team

JakobusVdL

Hi Marti, with the major teams reputedly employing 600 to 1000 engineers. I’ll bet that there are no shortage of potential candidate for the role. Then of course there are some very successful Team Managers / Racing Directors from F2/F3, Indy and WEC. I’m sure if Brown and Ojjeh decide its time for a change their only problem will be choosing who to try. Do you think it was Boullier who decided on the shift away from McLaren as a works team or Brown, or Ojjeh? I don’t know who in McLaren made the big call to sever ties with… Read more »

sunny stivala

@JAKO. Sunday May 20 2018 09:06, Indian Empress super yacht held out here under court orders is to be actioned by courts on Monday.

jakobusvdl

Another ‘challenge’ for Vijay.
You might be able to pick up a bargain there, a nice ‘one careful owner’ superyacht ;-)

sunny stivala

Me picking-up a bargain? that thing will still costs many millions.

Roger

Eric is perhaps the most dillusional team principle on the grid. He has a lot of faith, and trusts his staff, to a fault. Great at PR, miserable at visioning and innovation. He has no answers, he has no vision, he has no Newey level backup, so has no real results. They will soon lose Alanso, have lost credibility, as their performance with Renault power is barely incrementally better than with Honda, while STR are showing real success. Time for McLaren to dig deep, toss Eric, find an inspired, well grounded leader that is capable of kicking some tail to… Read more »