Austrian GP: McLaren's Boullier says engine penalties sad for F1

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier believes Formula 1's current engine penalty rules are "sad" and he has called for a rethink on the system

Austrian GP: McLaren's Boullier says engine penalties sad for F1

Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso will both start at the back of the Austrian Grand Prix grid after taking 25-place engine penalties this weekend for changes to various parts of their Honda-powered car's power units.

Boullier believes F1's decision makers were too optimistic when putting together the engine penalty regulations ahead of the 2014 season.

"Today we have to respect the rules, but I find it sad for Formula 1 to have two world champions like Jenson and Fernando sitting at the back of the grid," said Boullier.

"It's the same for everybody - we have to take the penalties as everybody should take them.

"When you see other engine manufacturers struggling after three years of development, I think we should have - as a Formula 1 community - a rethink at this stage.

"Because obviously it is a bit too harsh, maybe too ambitious, to turn up with this technology and be reliable."

Boullier also dismissed claims McLaren's progress has stopped since it scored its first points of the season in Monaco.

"We are doing progress - if we went back to Australia, China, Bahrain, we would be better," he added.

"Different track layouts are suiting us or making it worse, and we know Canada and here [Austria] is not suiting our car.

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"There are some weaknesses that are higher at some tracks, and sometimes when you find a couple of tenths it is not enough to gain a position.

"We are not worried. We are pushing as hard as we can to make sure we can make our concept work.

"We can see, we can simulate, we can already measure a lot of potential coming out.

"But we have to be extreme [to catch Mercedes] and this is the right time to do it, so there is nothing to worry about."

ECCLESTONE ECHOES PENALTY CONCERNS

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone agreed that the engine penalty rules were among several regulations in danger of alienating fans.

"I think we need to have a very, very good look at all our sporting regulations," he said.

"Don't go over the white line, don't do this, don't do that, if you change your engine you go back 20 places...

"It's not what the public understand. They don't understand and when they do understand they don't care about, basically."

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