Eric Boullier says he was sad to see Yasuhisa Arai leave the McLaren-Honda setup but feels his team has a suitable replacement in Yusuke Hasegawa.
Last month Honda chiefs confirmed Arai would be stepping down from his post in the F1 team due to company policy on retirement age, with Arai turning 60 this year.
Hasegawa, who has previous experience in the sport from his time with Honda's efforts supporting BAR and Jordan, has replaced Arai and enjoyed his first involvement in his new role at the second pre-season test in Barcelona.
The McLaren racing director has welcomed Hasegawa with open arms to the team's on-track operations unit and feels his racing experience and clearer communication is already benefitting the Woking-based team.
“When you change management you have a proper agenda and targets to achieve and you can feel Hasegawa-san is a man with more motor racing experience,” Boullier said. “He is used to working in the English system, so in some ways communication seems a little easier.”
Boullier says the senior management switches have not changed the F1 team's targets for 2016 as McLaren looks to rebuild from its difficult first year back with Honda which saw Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button collect just a handful of point finishes.
“We are McLaren-Honda, one team, but still we are working as McLaren and as Honda in Japan, and we need to bring both to the best of the best to be winning,” he said. “There is no numbers, no trying to set podiums or wins, which would be wrong. We have to be very careful.”