Boullier: Works engine deals now critical
25 June 2014 – McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier believes a works engine deal is now an essential ingredient if teams want to succeed in Formula 1.
The sport has switched to V6-turbo charged power units this year - as part of a number of regulation changes - and he cited Red Bull's fall from grace and the rise of Mercedes as proof of just how important it is to have a custom-built engine in this new era.
"Having a works engine allows you to play with a lot more channels and various set-up possibilities than if you have a customer engine," Boullier told reporters during a McLaren phone-in. "Let's just take this year for example, if you compare Mercedes GP and Red Bull Racing. We all know that Red Bull Racing's chassis is very good and is maybe slightly better than the Mercedes one.
"However the big difference between the two is that Red Bull has a Renault engine, which is not a works engine."
McLaren will switch to using engines from Honda next season and while Boullier concedes it is 'big project' he is pleased with what the Japanese manufacturer has done to date as it prepares for its comeback.
"Obviously it takes months, even years, to build it up [an F1 engine programme]. You work to a clear schedule and have clear goals to target.
"So far though I think everything is in order and matching what we need until the first race [with Honda] next year."