McLaren-Honda racing director Eric Boullier believes McLaren cannot afford another poor season if the team wants to keep its current driver line-up committed.
The 2015 Formula 1 season was challenging for Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button with a combined total of 14 retirements, with the team only securing 9th in the Constructors Championship. With changes to the Honda engine for the 2016 season, it gives high hopes that it will be a good step forward and that there is genuine progress from the start of the season.
Boullier was asked if the drivers will stay positive if the car is no better at the 2016 test, he replied, “I don’t think so. We cannot have another year like this…
“The drivers have bought into what we have done because we have been transparent with them. But for sure they don’t want to have another one like this. They are in F1 to compete to win, or to be competitive at least. What is very important for me is that even at the last race they were still in some ways positive with us.
“They were frustrated by the lack of performance, but to have them after 19 races still in this mood was good. I read some comments again from Fernando saying that he had no regrets about his move and he believes in the team, which he says every two weeks, and when he is talking to the factory he says the same.
“So to have this trust still intact after the season we’ve had, that for me is very, very reassuring.”