Arai exit was ‘long-term plan’ – Boullier

Feb.26 (GMM) The departure from Honda’s F1 project of Yasuhisa Arai had tongues wagging in the Barcelona paddock this week.

Rumours have been swirling that McLaren chiefs Eric Boullier and Ron Dennis pressed for his departure, but the official version is that he is simply set to ‘retire’.

“Arai-san’s 60th birthday and Honda’s pension policy is that when you turn 60, you retire,” Boullier is quoted by Finland’s MTV.

“It was a long-term plan that he would retire,” the Frenchman insisted.

That statement, however, surprised some, with one paddock observer admitting: “Arai is really 60?”

And Honda’s apparent ‘long-term plan’ also appeared not to square with comments made by Arai’s successor, Yusuke Hasegawa, as he said: “I did not expect that I would be joining the team.

“Last year I followed the F1 project by watching the races on TV.”

After a promising start, McLaren-Honda had a woeful day as the first Barcelona test ended on Thursday, with Fernando Alonso “disappointed” to do just 3 laps.

But the Anglo-Japanese collaboration will return to action on Friday and Saturday, having booked the Circuit de Catalunya for exclusive ‘filming’ runs.

Related News

  • 06/05/2015 McLaren hits back at ‘critics’ in a hurry May 6 (GMM) McLaren has reacted "angrily" to claims it has failed to live up to the hype of its works Honda partnership. Ahead of the fifth race of 2015 in Spain, Britain's Times […]
  • 03/03/2016 Alonso ‘happy’ at improving McLaren – Boullier Mar.3 (GMM) Things are finally looking up at McLaren. While some analysts believe the Honda power unit is still easily the least powerful in the field, it seems the Japanese carmaker may […]
  • 05/04/2015 McLaren drivers ‘happy with the car’ – Dennis Apr.5 (GMM) McLaren supremo Ron Dennis is confident the team can emerge from the early troubles of the new Honda era. He is quoted by France's L'Equipe as saying the bright side of the […]
  • 09/09/2015 McLaren, not Honda to decide Button future Sep.9 (GMM) McLaren has admitted it will take a quick decision over the future of Jenson Button. Last year, the 2009 world champion faced a long and ignominious wait for news about his […]
  • 27/02/2015 ‘I’m completely fine’ says smiling Alonso Feb.27 (GMM) Fernando Alonso on Friday declared himself "completely fine" after his Barcelona crash and four-day hospitalisation. The circumstances of the McLaren-Honda's seemingly […]
  • 09/03/2015 McLaren-Honda in ‘terrible trouble’ – Brundle Mar.9 (GMM) McLaren-Honda has found itself in "terrible trouble" ahead of the 2015 season. That is the view of former team driver Martin Brundle, observing that McLaren has struggled […]
  • 26/02/2015 Alonso ‘wanted to test’ in Barcelona – Dennis Feb.26 (GMM) He was in hospital for four days, and is absent at the final winter test in Barcelona, but Fernando Alonso is "categorically not injured". That was the insistence on […]
  • 14/05/2016 McLaren on track for clash with FIA over engines May 14 (GMM) McLaren-Honda could be shaping up to clash with F1's governing body over the new engine regulations. Fabrice Lom, the FIA's engine chief, said in Barcelona that the rules […]
  • 16/03/2015 Alonso says Malaysia return on track Mar.16 (GMM) Fernando Alonso has suggested his return to action in Malaysia in two weeks is on schedule. As the teams packed up their equipment late on Sunday to be shipped directly to […]
  • 26/05/2016 Vandoorne ‘not for sale’ – Dennis May 26 (GMM) Team supremo Ron Dennis has warned McLaren's rivals that Stoffel Vandoorne is "not for sale". The Belgian and reigning GP2 champion, who made his impressive F1 debut in […]