Eric Boullier has warned that McLaren can’t face another season at the back of the grid, otherwise it risks losing both Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button.
The pair endured a tough year with the Woking team in 2015, scoring just 27 points between them, finishing last but one in the Constructors’ Championship and having to start from the back after record grid penalties due to poor reliability.
Whilst the team showed little improvement, Alonso and Button managed to keep their cool, other than the odd comment, and remain committed to the project, with engine supplier Honda promising a step forward in 2016.
When asked if McLaren’s drivers would remain positive and stick with the project if the car failed to show an improvement during pre-season testing, Boullier responded: “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,” he is quoted by Motorsport.
“They are in F1 to compete to win, or to be competitive at least.”
The Frenchman does however take some comfort in the committment both drivers have shown over the past season.
“They were frustrated by the lack of performance, but to have them after 19 races still in this [positive] mood was good,” he added.
“So to have this trust still intact after the season [we’ve had], that for me is very, very reassuring.”