Honda F1 B-team can't be a 'distraction', says McLaren's Boullier

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier says a second Honda-powered 'B team' would only be viable if it was not a "distraction" to the partnership's main Formula 1 squad

An affiliated customer Honda team has been mooted as an option for both speeding up the Japanese firm's engine development by doubling its presence on track, and to create race seats for McLaren proteges Kevin Magnussen and Stoffel Vandoorne while world champions Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button occupy the primary drives.

Although F1's rules allowing increasing possibilities for partnerships between teams - such as 2016 newcomer Haas's alliance with Ferrari - Boullier was cool about the prospect of McLaren or Honda striking such a deal.

"I'm not sure we would like to pay the price of having a distraction within Honda or giving some focus to this," he told AUTOSPORT.

"We have to balance things. We'll see in time.

"We are thinking and we are talking and we are brainstorming."

He underlined McLaren would do its best to help Magnussen - who raced for the team in F1 last season - and runaway GP2 leader Vandoorne.

"It's a nice problem to have - but a tricky one," Boullier said of McLaren's driver surplus.

"We will do our best for them."

EXPERIENCED DRIVERS BEST FOR NOW

Boullier is certain McLaren's current line-up of very experienced drivers - with Button and Alonso having been in F1 since 2000 and '01 respectively - is its best option during Honda's development period.

"Both have the credibility, and that is very important," he said.

"When each of them says something, everybody is listening and everybody is trusting them to the point where they will try to fix it. That's a big change.

"If you have two junior drivers, you will be tempted to teach them what to do rather than listening to what they want.

"When you are in the situation where we are now, it's good that Honda and McLaren listen to drivers.

"They give the guidance from the past on where we need to go."

But he stopped short of confirming an unchanged line-up for 2016. Alonso has an ongoing deal while there is an option to retain Button too.

"We are happy today with both drivers," said Boullier.

"I can't comment more than this and I don't want to create a wrong or bad or untrue expectation.

"We are happy with the situation today."

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