Following a difficult start to its 2018 Formula 1 campaign, McLaren’s Racing Director Eric Boullier has resigned from his post ahead of the British Grand Prix.
McLaren’s CEO Zak Brown accepted Boullier’s resignation with an immediate effect on Tuesday and has since announced a simplified leadership structure going forward, starting from this weekend’s British GP at Silverstone.
Boullier said: “I am very proud to have worked with such a brilliant team over the past four years, but I recognise now is the right time for me to step down. I want to wish everyone at McLaren the best for the remainder of the season and for the future.”
As a result of Boullier’s resignation, the COO of McLaren Racing, Simon Roberts will takeover the ‘production, engineering and logistics’ department, with Andrea Stella appointed as the Performance Director and will also be responsible for trackside operations.
A new role of a Sporting Director has been handed to Gil de Ferran, who has been with the team for several races as an observer since Fernando Alonso’s Indy500 outing last year with the Andretti McLaren outfit.
The statement from McLaren added: “These changes are the beginning of a comprehensive programme of positive changes to the technical leadership of McLaren’s racing organisation. The team will invest to retain and attract the best talent, internally and externally, to return McLaren Racing to the front of the grid.”
Following the changes, Brown said: “The performance of the MCL33 in 2018 has not met the expectations of anyone at McLaren, especially our loyal fans. This is not the fault of the hundreds of committed and hard-working men and women at McLaren.
“The causes are systemic and structural, which require major change from within. With today’s announcement, we start to address those issues head on and take the first step on our road to recovery.
“I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the entire team to thank Eric for his service and contribution to McLaren and wish him well in his future endeavours.” Boullier had come under fire for the downward results of the team this season.
After the disastrous run with Honda for the last three seasons, McLaren opted to push with Renault this year but the results haven’t come by despite the team scoring regular points at the start of the 2018 campaign.
Boullier defended his position and also the team during the French Grand Prix in a heated press conference where he said he was safe in his position, however, he has since taken the decision to move away.
As mentioned, the team started off well in 2018 and were fourth until Renault got ahead and in the last race in Austria, even Haas moved ahead of the Woking-based team. They are sixth with 42 points but Force India are only two behind.