Boullier hails culture change

Date published: April 30 2015

As McLaren look to rebound, Eric Boullier says a "huge change" in the team's culture and a Championship-winning line-up are making a "big" difference.

This season, not only have McLaren swapped to Honda power but the team has a Championship-winning driver pairing in Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso.

The duo have struggled in the opening four races as the Woking team adapts to life with Honda.

Boullier, though, is confident that their race-winning creditials will help McLaren, who have not one a grand prix since 2012, return to the front of the grid.

"The driver line-up has made a big difference," the Racing Driver explained. "Jenson's attitude and feedback have always been phenomenal, but this year he's raised his game again.

"Our drivers are really committed: they're World Champions, they want to win again, they believe in the project, and they're pushing hard. They don't leave anything on the table in terms of performance, which is fantastic."

That, though, is not the only change that Boullier feels McLaren are benefitting from.

"There's been a huge change in overall culture and philosophy. At every level of the company, there is clear leadership. We agree the direction we want to pursue, and we bring people with us. The attitude has changed from 'telling' people, to 'asking' people; we've integrated people, and we share opinions and ideas.

"The main outcome of that new approach is that people now have a sense of ownership in the car. And they're more motivated and interested as a result. To give you an example, I guess about 50 per cent of the upgrades we brought to the track last year didn't completely work; this year, we've brought that down to about five or 10 per cent.

"There's tangible change at the factory, too: we've invested in some new Mazak machines and updated and upgraded a few old ones. In doing so, we've been able to increase our in-house manufacturing capability by around 30 per cent – which makes our development cycle lighter, faster and more flexible."