McLaren CEO Zak Brown says racing director Eric Boullier’s resignation from the team was no surprise in the wake of its current Formula 1 difficulties.
Boullier handed in his resignation to Brown on Tuesday night, with the Woking-based outfit moving swiftly to overhaul its management structure as it bids to recover.
Speaking from the team’s factory on Wednesday, Brown said that recent conversations with Boullier had pointed to the Frenchman feeling the team’s future was better served without him.
“Eric’s resignation wasn’t a surprise,” said Brown, when asked by Motorsport.com. “I spent a lot of time with the team, a lot of time with Eric, who is someone I’ve known a long time.
“Obviously we’ve been under a lot of pressure and underperforming for too long. So Eric and I have had many conversations around how we can improve McLaren, conversations in the past around what is the best way to do that.
“Ultimately he wants what is best for McLaren, as we all do, so when he made his decision it was not a surprise. It was something we had spoken about, our challenges and potential ways to address them.”
While Brown is under no illusions that there is a quick fix to McLaren’s troubles, he has faith that the departure of the man who brought Fernando Alonso to the team will not jeopardise his Spanish driver's future.
“Fernando is someone that has a history here at McLaren, he’s a huge asset,” added Brown. “All of you would recognize that he is the best driver on the grid. I think everyone would certainly say one of the best drivers.
“He has a tremendous amount of experience. I’ve developed a very good personal working relationship with him.
“Fernando, quite frankly, is someone who you all see his magic on the race track but you may not see is his magic off the race track, the valued contributions he makes and insights he has into the performance of the car and the team.
“He’s someone I have consulted since I started because he knows what a world championship effort looks like and I value his opinion. He is part of this process, he is a contributor to bringing McLaren forward.”