Eric Boullier prepared to 'bruise egos' to fix McLaren F1 team
|By Ben Anderson and Jonathan Noble||Thursday, August 14th 2014, 09:18 GMT|
Eric Boullier says he is prepared to "bruise some egos" as he continues his work to return McLaren to the front of the Formula 1 grid.
McLaren racing director Boullier and F1 CEO Jonathan Neale have restructured the Woking squad since Boullier arrived from Lotus last winter.
The process has also included hiring new aerodynamicists.
Boullier revealed the most recent phase of his restructure has been focused on getting the team's departments to work together more harmoniously, and he vowed to make more changes if necessary.
"It's the same people that have won many, many races in the world championship," Boullier told AUTOSPORT.
"It's about why they can't work together and why they can't reach the target.
"It's more about the culture and bringing back the right leadership, the right management and putting the right processes in place.
"It will take time and it may bruise some egos, but there will be some changes in the team because we have to close the book and start a new one.
"We want to be as successful, as we were before - McLaren has very successful heritage - this is why we won't be starting from scratch.
"I think we are on top of it now. It's not completely processed, but it will be done soon."
ON THE RIGHT PATH
McLaren scored a double podium finish in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, but currently lies sixth in the constructors' championship - it's worst placing since it finished there in 1981.
However, better form in recent races has convinced Boullier the team is on the right path to re-discovering the form it will need when it enters its new works engine partnership with Honda in 2015.
"We have definitely stopped getting 'down' and in the past couple of months we have got back on track," Boullier added.
"It's always difficult to stop a downwards spiral, but it now looks like we have stopped it.
"We know it is going to take time to get back to the top. We have to be realistic, but at least now it looks like we are coming up.
"I think by the end of the year 95 per cent will be completed and the foundation of McLaren for the next 10 years will be in place."
Former McLaren driver Alain Prost said earlier this year that his old team needed to "rethink" its approach in order to win again in Formula 1.
Boullier agreed with this sentiment and said he was surprised by how willing McLaren personnel were to accept the need for change.
"They knew that something was going wrong and most of the people were open-minded and happy to welcome changes," Boullier told AUTOSPORT.
"My feeling is they are starting to accept the change and are beginning to get motivated again.
"I expect the team to be much stronger next year and it will be good if we can deliver straight away."
McLaren has pursued an aggressive upgrade programme with its MP4-29 so far this season and Boullier said this would continue when the campaign resumes at Spa next weekend after F1's summer shutdown.
"We have some updates coming after the summer shutdown," Boullier confirmed.
"We have major upgrades and they will be part of the process to see what we can deliver and seeing if we can reach our achievable targets."