Boullier insists he won't quit over 'chocolate-gate'!

Eric Boullier (FRA) McLaren Racing Director.
© XPB 

McLaren has once again found itself at the centre of a tabloid storm focussed on stories that its workers in Woking are up in arms.

Last weekend there were reports that staff were in open revolt against the teams' senior management, and that many wanted to see the return of former McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh.

Now Friday's Daily Mail says that staff are outraged over receiving Cadbury's Freddo chocolate bars as 'bonuses'.

But McLaren racing director Eric Boullier dismissed the latest reports and said that they were a storm in a teacup.

"There have been a couple of stories about some 'chocolate-gate' in the media today, which have been a bit funny to read," he said.

"I think it's a matter of a couple of people who are grumpy," he insisted. "There are maybe a couple of people grumpy - in any organisation you have some people who agree or disagree.

"We don't know what is the problem of these people," he continued. "We have invited them to come and see us to see what the problems are, rather than talking through the back door.

"Obviously we are 800 people. We have a lot of support from the workforce and from the engineering [staff].

"Actually in some ways it might be good for us, because we've had a lot of feedback, and good feedback," he added. "We've had tons of emails from people saying this is a joke!"

However the Daily Mail even went as far as asking Boullier if it was time for him to quit the team because of the sustained critical coverage.

"No, I will not resign," he told the reporter. "To your question, I know you have written some articles. I've won races and championships with every team I've managed before, including F1. This is something you cannot take away from me."

But the undeniable problem is that the current MCL33 is not performing as well as the team had hoped.

After three years of blaming its lack of performance on its ill-fated partnership with Honda, this year there is no where left for McLaren to hide when things don't go according to plan.

"The car this year obviously is not working exactly as we expected it to be," Boullier admitted. "But we are still using this as an experimental experience.

"We want to learn from this car, and learn as well working with Renault, because it's a different partner from last year, so we have something new to learn.

"Again it's a journey," he stressed. "This is part of the journey, learning to work with Renault, out new power unit partner."

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