Exclusive Q&A: Eric Boullier on his new role at McLaren and 2014 objectives
Frenchman appointed the new Racing Director at Woking team
By William Esler. Last Updated: 20/02/14 2:37pm
Boullier relishing new role
Rachel Brookes caught up with new McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier in Bahrain to discuss his role at the Woking-based team and what their goals are for 2014.
Rachel Brookes: You've joined McLaren after a difficult season last year, how have you found things so far?
Eric Boullier: "Great to be honest. It is true that morale may be down a little bit because of last season's results, but there is a lot of competitiveness behind the door of McLaren and let's say everyone is very, very eager to get back."
RB: The role is Race Director - is that a Team Principal role?
EB: "Yes, it is definitely a Team Principal role on track and let's say that off track I have to focus more on the performance of the team."
RB: We are waiting on a new McLaren Racing CEO. How will that fit in with you and your role?
EB: "Time has changed and moved forward and you cannot have a Team Principal acting in the sole role today. I think teams are now getting bigger and you have to share the responsibilities of the organisation to make sure you make the best of it. That is what I have been discussing and what Ron [Dennis] wanted to put on the table."
RB: You mention Ron Dennis - will we see him at races this year?
EB: "Yeah, I hope so. He is very welcome and he is a good CEO and Chairman of the company so it is great to have his support at the track."
RB: Have you had a relationship with him before or is it just since you joined McLaren?
EB: "No. Actually the first time I met him was when I joined McLaren."
RB: What do you make of him?
EB: "He is a great character and a needed figure in McLaren today and in this paddock. So he is a great motivator and he is pushing us hard to where we should be."
Eric Boullier: At work for McLaren in Bahrain
RB: The car seems to have been going pretty well. Are you where you want to be at this stage of testing?
EB: "If I say 'Yes' I would be lying as we can never be happy. This morning, we got stuck in the garage a little bit too long, but we have to say we are happy with the reliability of the car. Obviously we are now looking for more mileage."
RB: How impressed have you been with Kevin Magnussen so far?
EB: "He is a new figure so everyone is looking at what he is doing. He is very quick over one lap and has been consistent and he is settling well into the team. Clearly he is one we need to watch for the future."
RB: Have you been set a goal by Ron Dennis or the board for McLaren this season?
EB: "There is only one target that we will accept and that is to fight for the win and the championship. So we will do our best."
RB: From what you have seen of the car so far can you do that?
EB: "It is too early to tell. Testing is about testing, everyone is not bringing their full package yet - we certainly are not - so let's wait and see."
The Sky Sports F1 Online team will be providing live commentary of all three winter tests, with live updates from trackside also on Sky Sports News.