McLaren racing director Eric Boullier has defended his management record following a report of dissent within the team.
After starting the season with high expectations, McLaren has been well off the pace of the top three teams and has slipped behind Renault in the battle for fourth in the constructors’ championship. With the team having failed to score in each of the last two races, a report in Sportsmail cited an unnamed source describing McLaren’s management as “clueless,” leading to a “toxic” atmosphere that has led to strike threats after Freddo chocolate bars were handed out as rewards.
“Obviously, we are all responsible for the car performance,” Boullier (pictured above) said in response to the report and his position within the team. “No, I will not resign, to answer your question … I’ve got my 20th year now in racing, I’ve won races and championships with every team I’ve managed before, including Formula 1, so this is some record that you cannot take away from me.
“So I think we’re on a journey. We are not where we want to be, we are not happy with where we are — but with the journey, with the new Renault engine partner, and obviously we have a good team of people, we just need to make sure we are finding the issues with the car and correct them.
“We know where the issues with the car are, and make sure… when you build a car, when you believe in a concept, you have to develop the concept and make sure you correct it for the next one.”
When asked if he will be seeking to discipline the member of staff who spoke out, Boullier replied: “This is obviously an internal matter, so we need to discuss what we need to see internally, what’s going… why that individual is unhappy.
“When you have, obviously 800 people… we have a lot of support from the workforce and from the engineering. I think it’s just a matter of a couple of people who are grumpy. Actually, in some way it’s maybe good for us because we have a lot of feedback — and good feedback.”
Boullier played down the report, saying the views of one individual employee do not necessarily reflect those of the whole team.
“I think at this level of responsibility we are all obviously working for the company, we are all making sure we take our responsibilities.
“There have been a couple of stories about some chocolate in the media today, which was a bit funny to read — and again, it was good because actually we have tons of email from people saying, ‘This is a joke.’ So maybe it’s a couple of people grumpy, which in any organization you have some people who agree or disagree when there has been maybe miscommunication.
“I don’t know what is the problem of these people and I think we have invited them to come and see us to understand what their problems are, other than obviously talking through the back doors.”