Eric Boullier is proud to see the French Grand Prix return to the Formula 1 calendar for the first time in a decade, with the Circuit Paul Ricard back to host its first Grand Prix since 1990.
The Frenchman is the racing director of the McLaren F1 Team, and he feels the facilities at the circuit will be amongst the best on the Formula 1 calendar, and he cannot wait for his home event to get underway on Friday.
Boullier feels the organisers should be satisfied with the job they’ve done to get France back on the calendar after a ten-year hiatus.
“I’m both pleased and proud to be returning to the Circuit Paul Ricard as Formula 1 returns to host a Grand Prix for the first time there in almost thirty years,” said Boullier. “It’s definitely been a labour of love for all involved, and I’m very appreciative of the opportunity to have been part of the process to bring it back onto the calendar.
“I’m confident that the facilities will be viewed as among the best of all the circuits we visit, and the organisers should be very satisfied with what has been achieved to re-establish this circuit that holds so many great racing memories for a lot of people.”
Boullier says the lengthy process of bringing a Grand Prix has been worthwhile, and it is great to have a country with a rich heritage in Formula 1 and motorsport back on the calendar. He feels the Paul Ricard venue has the potential for some good racing.
“It’s been a long process since the campaign first began, but a worthwhile one, and I think we have the potential for some great racing there next weekend,” said Boullier.
“In addition, welcoming another grand prix to a European venue with such a rich heritage in Formula 1 as France is also very pleasing, and I hope it will prove to be another fantastic destination for fans to enjoy visiting.”
Looking ahead to the weekend for McLaren, Boullier says it is important to get their season back on track after a few mechanical gremlins across the last three race weekends have left both Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne frustrated not to continue their good points scoring start to the season.
“By design this circuit is no mean feat, and it’ll certainly be both a challenging and exhilarating track for the engineers and drivers to get their heads around,” said Boullier. “Our focus must first and foremost be on reliability after our recent spate of retirements.
“We’ve worked hard to understand our performance issues in Canada and hope that in France we can put in a more representative showing on track.”
Boullier was also congratulative towards Alonso for his 24 Hours of Le Mans victory last weekend as the Spaniard helped Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima secured Toyota Gazoo Racing’s first triumph at the Circuit de la Sarthe, with the Frenchman feeling that Alonso ticked off another item off his bucket list.
“Finally, on behalf of everyone at McLaren I’d like to offer huge congratulations to Fernando for his fantastic Le Mans win,” commented Boullier. “He showed his talent and mental strength during what we know is an exceptionally tough race, and we were all cheering him on as he lifted the trophy.
“We know it’s been on his bucket list for a while now and it’s another incredible achievement to add to the record books.”