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'Pressure' led to Eric Boullier exit - Brown

2018-07-05 09:33

GREAT RESULT: Spanish driver Fernando Alonso finished fifth in the first grand prix of the 2018 Formula 1 season. Image: AFP / Paul Crock

Zak Brown says "pressure" on McLaren led to the departure of team boss Eric Boullier.

Amid McLaren's continuing performance crisis and rumblings of internal staff strife, Frenchman Boullier 'resigned' this week.

'It was not a surprise'

"It was a very difficult time for everyone at McLaren with a lot of pressure on our shoulders.

READ: Eric Boullier resigns as McLaren race director days before British GP

"In the end, he felt that McLaren needed to move forward. It was not a surprise. We have been under pressure and underperforming for too long," team executive Brown told L'Equipe.

When asked if Boullier was told to resign or he actually resigned, Brown answered: "I do not intend to go into detail about my exchanges with Eric.  I don't think it's appropriate."

'First step to victory'

At the same time as Boullier's departure, McLaren announced that consultant Gil de Ferran will now step into a full time sporting director role.

Brown said Andrea Stella will be in charge on race weekends.

"The situation we are in did not occur in a day and will not be resolved in a day. Today is the first step to return to the path to victory," Brown warned.

As for whether Boullier's existing role will be replaced, Brown said he wasn't sure.

Alonso 'involved' in restructuring

"This is the beginning of a process and I think we will examine it further in due course."

What is clear is that Fernando Alonso is probably happy with the changes, as he is close to Brown, his former Ferrari race engineer Stella, and Indy 500 champion de Ferran.

Brown admits the Spaniard was "involved" in the restructuring.

And he admitted that one of McLaren's problems in the last few years was "communication", especially after claiming in the Honda era that it had the best car.

"We do not have the best chassis. At least not this year.

We do have to admit that we made mistakes in communication. It is always dangerous to make predictions and pronouncements. From today's point of view, we would have done something quite different," he admitted.

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