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Éric Boullier

Formula 1 employee

Éric Boullier
Credit: Andrew Ferraro/Lotus F1
Vital statistics for Éric Boullier
NationalityFRA
PositionRacing director
TeamMcLaren Honda

Éric Boullier became Team Principal of the Lotus team just as they needed someone to help turn their fortunes around. Having no previous experience of F1, Boullier took the helm and guided them to better performance – both on and off track. Boullier was instrumental in the return of Kimi Raikkonen to F1 in 2012, as well as being manager to Romain Grosjean. At the end of 2013, he left Lotus and moved to McLaren, taking on the new Racing Director position.

Biography

When investment company Genii Capital bought the Renault F1 team, they put their own man at the top. Éric Boullier had no prior experience of managing an F1 team, but had been involved in motorsport for many years. He studied aeronautics at a French Polytechnique, and then joined the World Series by Nissan series as a chief engineer.

In 2003, he took up a managerial role with the DAMS team in France, heading up the squad’s A1 GP entry. He also moved into driver management, becoming Chief Executive Officer of Gravity Sport Management. With Genii and Gravity inextricably linked, the step across to Team Principal of Lotus F1 (then Renault F1) was just moments away.

Since joining the sport, Boullier has become a personable member of the paddock, using social media to good effect but always toeing the company line through some difficult political matters. The return of Kimi Raikkonen in 2012, and his departure at the end of 2013 due to non-payment, were all managed – for better or worse – by Boullier. As manager to Romain Grosjean, Boullier has always retained his faith in the French driver, despite some difficult races and criticism from outside.

Although not back to their championship winning ways of the early millennium, Boullier has helped Renault/Lotus become a title contender and return to the podium on several occasions. At the end of 2013, Éric parted ways with Lotus and moved to McLaren, as the Woking team underwent a reshuffle with the return of Ron Dennis. Boullier secured the new position of Racing Director.