sport

Button: Boullier a great addition

Jenson Button believes Eric Boullier's "fresh ideas" will further revitalise McLaren in their season of need.

Just five days after resigning as team principal at Lotus, Boullier has been appointed to the newly-created role of racing director at McLaren.

The Frenchman's recruitment is part of a new management structure at the Woking-based team, with a chief executive officer of the racing operation to also be confirmed, with former Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn the main name in the frame.

It all follows an internal coup in which Ron Dennis returned to his former role as McLaren Group's CEO, ousting Martin Whitmarsh who is to depart after 25 years service, with the terms of his settlement package due to be negotiated.

Given the firefighting Boullier was forced to undertake at Lotus as the team wrestled with financial woes, which included not paying former driver Kimi Raikkonen his salary last season, the 40-year-old will be a welcome acquisition at McLaren.

"He does add to the team," said Button, at the end of a productive second day in McLaren's new car, the MP4-29, after failing to turn a wheel in anger on the opening day of pre-season testing at Jerez on Tuesday.

"The team will never be changed by one individual, but he does add something. It's good to have fresh ideas.

"When the management structure is complete - and hand on heart I don't know who will be in the roles but I have an idea of the structure - then we will be in good shape."

Whilst obviously aware of Boullier, Button has no idea as to the man and his methods.

"As a friend in the paddock I know him, but I don't know the way he works," added Button.

"Lotus have had a very interesting and exciting last few years. Last year was a very difficult year for the team with what was going on in the background.

"But it did look like he controlled that reasonably well."

Button finished top of the timesheet in Jerez, and although largely irrelevant given the steep learning curves of the cars, he was happy with the baseline of his new challenger.

A year ago there were glum faces all round at McLaren as they knew they had built a troubled car, one that failed to claim a podium for the first time since 1980.

On this occasion, a relieved Button said: "I enjoy driving this car.

"Our first day last year we were quick, but the car had its flaws and we could see that.

"The car was bouncing around a lot and we had our issues which were not going to be easy to solve.

"This time we don't have those issues. The basic car itself is good and it works. No scary things with it. I'm really looking forward to getting back in it."

Button was due to hand over driving duties to new team-mate Kevin Magnussen for the final two days this week, but after failing to get in a lap on Tuesday will be given an additional half day on Thursday.