Honda needs to embrace F1 culture - McLaren's Eric Boullier

A better understanding of the racing culture in Formula 1 is the main thing Honda needs to improve its flagging fortunes in F1, according to McLaren racing director Eric Boullier

Honda needs to embrace F1 culture - McLaren's Eric Boullier

Honda has endured a difficult return to F1 since pairing up with McLaren ahead of the 2015 season, and it looks set for another troubled campaign in 2017 after a disastrous eight days of pre-season testing in Spain.

Relations with McLaren have become strained in recent weeks, as McLaren faces the prospect of another season of poor results.

McLaren recovery would be 'Houdini-like'

Honda has appeared reluctant to embrace outside influences on its nascent F1 programme, and Boullier said Honda has so far failed to fully grasp the speed and accuracy of development required to be successful in F1, which is the main thing holding the project back.

"They only need one thing, which is to understand and integrate the F1 racing culture," Boullier told Autosport.

"What I mean by that is: the way we behave in racing and Formula 1 is all driven by a calendar, by some fixed targets, fixed dates, lap time gains; we always try to go to the best solution as fast as possible.

"Where a car manufacturer is running a project, you can have a few weeks delay and it's not going to change the product, it's not going to change the business model.

"In racing, if you don't bring your upgrade for race one, in race one you will be nowhere.

"That is this racing mentality. It's as far as going to suppliers and making sure that if they do something in one month, the next time they do it in three weeks, and from three weeks to two weeks.

+ Can McLaren-Honda be saved from crisis?

"We value more the time gained than the money spent. This is a different approach from the rest of the world."

Honda has invested in a remote engine workshop in Milton Keynes, but Boullier reckons keeping its main base in Japan, and working to the corporate culture of the parent motor company, means the F1 operation is too slow to cope with the demands of modern grand prix racing.

"This is why Mercedes is based in England, and I guess they benefit from the supply chain, from people with experience of F1," Boullier added.

"Our suppliers maybe cost twice as much [as Honda's] but are three, four, five times faster.

"In some ways you can realise the corporate influence is not helping to be efficient.

"The more you behave like a corporate company, the more process inherited from a corporate company, the slower you are, the less agile you are, which doesn't fit the racing culture."

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