Cape Town - McLaren
racing director Eric Boullier has said he feared a staff exodus at
the team as their struggles with Honda continued to worsen.
The Woking team have spent the post-season period reflecting on their
time with the Japanese manufacturer as they now go into a new
partnership with Renault.
Boullier knew another disastrous year was coming in 2017 after
McLaren's horror show at pre-season testing, and it was at that moment
he feared the very worst for the infrastructure of the team.
"I went to the management, showed them the data and told them that we
cannot accept another year like this," Boullier told the official F1
"We had a tough first year with Honda, we had a tough second year,
and had expected progress good enough to get us back to where we belong -
but Barcelona showed that we would go backwards and that was absolutely
not an option.
"I obviously warned them about the consequences of another year of no results, where you keep everybody afloat.
"We have a new team, which has been reconstructed in the last three
years: new people, very good new people - competitive people who used to
win - and the danger was we'd lose them."