McLaren racing director Eric Boullier believes that the confirmation of Jenson Button for the 2016 Formula 1 season will act as a massive boost to the team heading into this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.
The revived McLaren-Honda partnership hit a new low two weeks ago in Japan as both Button and teammate Fernando Alonso failed to score any points, with the latter taking to the team radio to publicly vent his frustration with his engine.
Since then, speculation about Button’s future has been cleared up as he has been confirmed for the 2016 season, partnering Alonso once again, plus new sponsor Chandon has entered a new partnership with McLaren.
Looking ahead to this weekend’s race in Russia, Boullier explained how he felt both announcements would offer McLaren a great deal of motivation amid continued struggles with the MP4-30 car.
“After the challenges and emotion of Suzuka, it’s been a very important week for the McLaren-Honda team,” Boullier said. “We’ve announced a new partner for the 2016 season and beyond, Chandon, and confirmed that Jenson will be continuing to race with us next year.
“Both of these announcements are incredibly motivating for the whole team, and we go to Sochi with renewed enthusiasm and excitement.
“Last year’s Russian Grand Prix was an unquestionable success, and the organisers worked very hard to put on a well-organised event in front of packed grandstands of passionate fans.
“We had a strong weekend there last year, and, while we know the limitations of our package, we are continuing to work tirelessly on our reliability and performance to achieve the best result we can.
“There’s still a long way to go until the end of the season, and every weekend counts as an opportunity to learn, develop and apply our knowledge and experience to next year’s car. Sochi will be no different.”
The Russian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra this weekend.