Boullier: McLaren need fresh approach

Wednesday 18-June-2014 13:02

McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier believes the team needs a fresh approach to Formula 1 in order to return to winning ways.

McLaren last secured a Championship back in 2008 when Lewis Hamilton triumphed in the Drivers' battle while the team has not won the Constructors' since 1998.

The team's lack of success recently led to a few changes at the top with Ron Dennis returning to the helm while Martin Whitmarsh was dropped as team boss, replaced by Racing Director Boullier.

The former Lotus team boss, though, says more changes need to be made, especially to McLaren's approach to Formula 1 racing.

"McLaren has been doing the same thing for a long time - and maybe too long," he told Autosport.

"Now it needs to refresh a little bit.

"I use the words of Ron [Dennis], who said it became an engineering team rather than a racing team. We lost some flexibility; we lost maybe [the ability] to look outside as well.

"It is a very competitive sport, so we should always monitor what the others are doing.

"And if someone is better than you, we need to try to understand why, rather than looking at our shoes and expect we are going to do better one day."

The Frenchman added: "There is a little bit of culture change. There has been drastic change in the aero department at McLaren, and I think there is a new strategy in place and new leadership in place to drive where we should be.

"And from that point, that will be the first step. And from there we will go to the next step which will be to try to go to winning, and a Championship-winning team."

Highlighting where it has gone wrong for McLaren in recent times, Boullier says while the team has the ability to recover, these days the sport's regulations don't permit the time on the track and in the wind tunnel that is needed to do so.

"McLaren has been and is still a big machine capable of recovering. The only difference is that the outside world has changed.

"We have no more testing, more and more restrictions in the wind tunnel, and more and more restrictions everywhere.

"So from a recovery point, we have less capacity - not in terms of inside the team but in terms of what we can do. And that is something that has maybe been forgotten or not well handled when they took some risk with concept cars.

"They obviously were expecting to recover, but we cannot recover as much as we were doing before.

"It is a change of strategy: the way you build new cars, the way you introduce new concepts, and everything has been reviewed. It won't be like before now, because we cannot afford to do this."

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