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McLaren F1 team needed culture change, according to Eric Boullier

McLaren needed to accept a change in culture if it was going to have any hope of returning to the front of Formula 1, reckons racing director Eric Boullier.

Ahead of a key weekend for the team, with the first part of a major update package being introduced at the Austrian Grand Prix, Boullier says that the Woking-based squad has had to reset its approach to F1 this year.

Having begun a restructure after arriving last winter, Boullier thinks the team had become too focused on engineering rather than racing, and too reliant on the ability to recover from poor starts to a campaign.

"McLaren has been doing the same thing for a long time - and maybe too long," explained Boullier.

"Now it needs to refresh a little bit.

"I use the words of Ron [Dennis], who said it became an engineering team rather than a racing team. We lost some flexibility; we lost maybe [the ability] to look outside as well.

"It is a very competitive sport, so we should always monitor what the others are doing.

"And if someone is better than you, we need to try to understand why, rather than looking at our shoes and expect we are going to do better one day."

He added: "There is a little bit of culture change. There has been drastic change in the aero department at McLaren, and I think there is a new strategy in place and new leadership in place to drive where we should be.

"And from that point, that will be the first step. And from there we will go to the next step which will be to try to go to winning, and a championship-winning team."

Boullier suggests that McLaren had also suffered by failing to adapt to the ever-tighter scope of F1 rules, which limited chances of recovery over a campaign.

"McLaren has been and is still a big machine capable of recovering," he explained. "The only difference is that the outside world has changed.

"We have no more testing, more and more restrictions in the wind tunnel, and more and more restrictions everywhere.

"So from a recovery point, we have less capacity - not in terms of inside the team but in terms of what we can do. And that is something that has maybe been forgotten or not well handled when they took some risk with concept cars.

"They obviously were expecting to recover, but we cannot recover as much as we were doing before.

"It is a change of strategy: the way you build new cars, the way you introduce new concepts, and everything has been reviewed. It won't be like before now, because we cannot afford to do this."

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