Boullier: Honda must embrace F1 culture

Date published: March 22 2017

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier has said Honda to need to attain a better understanding of Formula 1 in order to become a success in the sport.

Executive director Zak Brown recently revealed that Honda were “spending what it takes” to try and resolve the plethora of problems that are preventing McLaren from being competitive.

However, Boullier believes it is knowledge, and not just money, that Honda need if they want to be a successful brand in Formula 1.

“They only need one thing, which is to understand and integrate the F1 racing culture,” Boullier told Motorsport.com.

“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, laptime 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.”

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

While Honda has invested in setting up a secondary engine facility in Milton Keynes, Boullier believes the fact that Honda’s main base in Japan slows the team down in making progress.

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

“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.”