Eric Boullier feels there is no one better to lead the McLaren Renault Formula 1 Team in 2018 than Fernando Alonso after the Spaniard extended his contract.
The Racing Director of the Woking-based team says the decision of the thirty-six-year-old to commit to McLaren for next season – there first with Renault power after three years with Honda – shows that Alonso remains committed to the McLaren cause, which is to returning to winning ways as soon as possible.
Boullier now says the pressure is on McLaren to deliver a strong car to reward Alonso for his confidence.
“With Fernando, you really can’t ask for a better driver to deliver a result for you on a Sunday afternoon – and I think everybody in Formula 1 would acknowledge that sentiment,” said Boullier.
“He’s always been clear to me that this is a team he loves, and that his heart has always been set on staying. Today’s announcement shows that he’s fully committed to racing and winning as a McLaren driver, and, while we’ve often shared his frustrations over the past few years, we now feel that we can deliver on our promise to give him a competitive car next season.”
Boullier says keeping the same line-up for 2018 was important, with Alonso again being partnered by Stoffel Vandoorne, and the Racing Director feels the Spaniard alongside the Belgian is the best line-up on the Formula 1 grid.
“Consistency of driver line-up is one of those small but essential elements that really helps a team to maintain momentum, and, with Fernando and Stoffel, we’re lucky to be writing a fresh chapter with what we believe to be the best driver line-up in Formula 1,” said Boullier.