Eric Boullier: Fernando Alonso will challenge McLaren-Honda F1 team

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier reckons his Formula 1 team will face a challenge in managing new signing Fernando Alonso's expectations

Alonso's return to McLaren from F1 rival Ferrari was confirmed on Thursday, when the Woking team revealed that it would retain 2009 world champion Jenson Button as Alonso's team-mate for 2015.

Boullier agreed the capture of double world champion Alonso represented a significant coup for the new McLaren-Honda partnership, but admitted it would be tough to manage the Spaniard's competitive desire while the project gets up to speed.

"I know it's going to be challenging, [but] you have to take it as a huge positive," Boullier said.

"This is the kind of commitment and dedication you want.

"We gain the best driver in the world today, and to have convinced Fernando to stop his last two years of contract with Ferrari to join us, that means a lot for me.

"It means he believes in what we are building.

"Clearly he's going to challenge us every day. To be honest with you, he's texting me every day already!

"He's really on it. This is the kind of boost we were looking for."

Alonso's last tenure at McLaren in 2007 ended in an acrimonious split, something Alonso admitted this week was the biggest regret of his career.

Boullier said he foresees no such trouble when Alonso pairs up with Button next year.

"I think both these drivers are mature enough to be easy to manage," Boullier added.

"The problem we may face, which is a nice problem to have, is to manage them on-track.

"Off-track, I think it's going to be easy."

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