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Boullier feared potential Alonso exit would collapse McLaren

Written by  Feb 04, 2018

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier admits he feared a potential early exit for Fernando Alonso would be the catalyst to the British team's collapse.

A soon-to-be-released Amazon documentary named 'Grand Prix Driver' was behind the scenes at McLaren when the full extent of Honda's engine problems last year was revealed at the pre-season tests in Barcelona.

It would be the start of another troubled year between the two parties, which ultimately ended in their divorce being announced in September, and Boullier was sure the double world champion's patience would run out.

"After this testing, Fernando is quite pissed off," he said almost a year ago, speaking for the film. "He is clearly saying I may reconsider my position to race because I'm not going to survive another year like this.

"He will not stay. I am a 100 percent certain he will not stay..."

Considering the possible consequences of Alonso calling it quits, the Frenchman added: "My main worry at this time is not to have the team collapsing. I know the domino effect as well, you know. It takes years to build an F1 team but you can kill it in six months.

"In this business, you know how it works," he claimed. "When you are weak, people they come, they just poach who they want."

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As it is now, a Renault engine deal has brought new hope to McLaren with the 36-year-old signing on for at least one more year, with that, expectations are high that Alonso will be back battling with the best on the grid.

“I can’t wait to see Fernando mixing it up with Lewis [Hamilton] and being in a race-car that is capable of being a good race-car," executive director Zak Brown claimed.

“It was great to see in Mexico, a situation where he could race hard because we were a little more competitive, that tussle with Lewis. I hope we see more of that and at the front end of the field.”

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