McLaren announced the resignation of racing director Eric Boullier on Wednesday as part of a restructuring of the Formula 1 team’s technical management ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix.

The former world champions, currently sixth in the standings after nine races, said Brazilian former Indianapolis 500 winner Gil de Ferran had taken a new role as sporting director.

The team said Simon Roberts, chief operating officer of McLaren Racing, will now oversee production, engineering and logistics.

Andrea Stella was appointed Performance Director, responsible for trackside operations.

“The performance of the MCL33 in 2018 has not met the expectations of anyone at McLaren, especially our loyal fans,” said team boss Zak Brown in a statement.

“This is not the fault of the hundreds of committed and hard-working men and women at McLaren. The causes are systemic and structural, which require major change from within.”

Brown, who accepted Boullier’s resignation on Tuesday, said the restructuring marked the first step on the road to recovery with the team addressing their issues “head on”.

McLaren have not won a race since 2012 and switched to Renault engines this season after ending a disappointing three-year partnership with Honda.

Their boast last year that they had one of the best chassis in the sport has been undermined by aerodynamic struggles this year while Red Bull, who use the same engine, have won three races.

Boullier’s position had looked shaky for some time, with technical head Tim Goss moved aside in April.

“I am very proud to have worked with such a brilliant team over the past four years, but I recognise now is the right time for me to step down,” Boullier, a former Lotus team boss, said in the McLaren statement.

“I want to wish everyone at McLaren the best for the remainder of the season and for the future.”

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