SILVERSTONE, U.K. -- Fernando Alonso has denied suggestions he is the man pulling the strings at McLaren and insisted he has full faith in CEO Zak Brown to lead the team back to the front of the grid.
McLaren has arrived at its home race a day after confirming the resignation of racing director Eric Boullier, who stepped down amid increasing pressure over the team's poor results this year. The team has announced a restructured leadership team to replace Boullier, with duties split between new sporting director Gil de Ferran, performance director Andrea Stella and team COO Simon Roberts.
The appointments are seen as heavily influenced by Alonso. He worked with De Ferran ahead of his Indy 500 debut in 2017 before the two-time ChampCar champion was hired as a McLaren advisor earlier this year; Stella worked as Alonso's race engineer at Ferrari and came across with him to McLaren in 2015.
Early on in his Thursday media session, Alonso was asked what he felt De Ferran would bring to the team, to which he said: "I don't know. I just drive cars.
"If Zak thinks there are other people now doing other jobs in the team it's because he thinks it's the best thing to do. I trust 100 percent Zak, I trusted 100 percent Eric; I trust always the bosses because they are always the one that have all the information. We just drive cars."
That was followed up with the suggestion he was the man leading the team, but Alonso denied that was the case.
"No, I don't think so. But definitely I have more experience than probably all the engineers at the track. You know? My race engineer's in their sixth year in Formula One, the performance engineer's in the fourth year, the tire engineer is in the ninth year, it's my 18th year.
"So some things maybe I try to give my feedback what I've experienced in previous teams or what are my experiences from different tires or different weather conditions or qualifying conditions or stressful moments, whatever. It's no different to any other driver."
Alonso finished Thursday's media session with a declaration of faith in Brown, who he believes has similar leadership qualities to his former Renault boss Flavio Briatore.
"With Zak obviously we have a very close relationship even if it's a short time that we met. As I said before, he's a racer, he understands racing commitment and spirit and I think he's going to be a good leader for the future at McLaren. I trust him, even if he's not designing the car, it wasn't Flavio designing the car but he was a leader and I think Zak is a leader so it's going to be a good time."