F1 »

Q&A - Eric Boullier, Lotus

Eric Boullier hopes Lotus can challenge in Bahrain
Q:
Eric, what is your view on the Chinese GP?

Eric Boullier:
It was a tough weekend for us. It started right from the free practice sessions, when our new aerodynamic package did not perform 100% as expected. Because the track time is always very limited during a Grand Prix weekend and because we did not know if the situation was the result of the low temperatures or a problem with the package itself, we took the decision to go for a compromise between the new parts and our older configuration after Friday. We then probably lost performance in comparison to our rivals. We made it to Q3 without any problem, but then the race did not develop as expected. Kimi put on a strong performance, but our strategy did not allow him to get onto the podium. We still believe that a two stop plan was good for us but in retrospect, we stopped him slightly too early after his second stint. That was a real shame. Romain on the other hand has been able to put his bad luck behind him. He finished sixth and could have been even higher. Also, his fight against Pastor Maldonado was great to watch, although maybe a bit stressful from the pitwall!

Q:
What's your mood, then, ahead of Bahrain?

Eric Boullier:
I spoke about frustration before China and I think this is what I feel the most at the moment. We've only been scoring with one car in the first three races. When you look at the classification in Shanghai, McLaren, Red Bull, Sauber and Williams all had both their drivers in the top ten. This is really what we should be aiming for in Bahrain. I believe the Constructors' Championship classification does not reflect our true level of performance. Ten laps before the end of the race in China, we were still 2nd and 6th, and looking quite strong. We need to keep this level of performance until the chequered flag.

Q:
Any positives?

Eric Boullier:
Of course, there are some. Kimi's position on the grid was his best so far, and there are more developments to be added to the car soon. Also, despite some tricky conditions and a track that was not supposed to suit the E20, we managed to fight at the top once again. We were well beaten by Mercedes in China and McLaren have a little bit on us still, but we have a car that can compete for podiums. We just have to make sure that we don't miss any opportunities.

Q:
Kimi and Romain have both lost places during pitstops since the beginning of the season. Is it a concern?

Eric Boullier:
We know where the problem is coming from. Our guys have little to do with it. In order to improve our pitstops, we'll have to re-design and manufacture some parts of our equipment. This won't be ready for Bahrain but we will make a step forward in Barcelona for sure.

Q:
The expectations for Bahain are clear, then…

Eric Boullier:
Yes. I would say these expectations are a copy and paste from China. Our aim will be to have a trouble-free weekend and show what we can do with the E20. This is the minimum, and unlike what happened at each of the first three races, there should not be any rain to make our life difficult in Bahrain! Having both cars in the top ten would be a nice improvement. Our potential is plain to see. I don't like being in 6th position in the Constructors' Championship, but we should not remain there for too long!


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Eric Boullier, Team Principal, Lotus F1 Team
30.09.2016 - Press conference, (From back row (L to R)): Robert Fernley (GBR) Sahara Force India F1 Team Deputy Team Principal; Dave Ryan (NZL) Manor Racing Racing Director; Eric Boullier (FRA) McLaren Racing Director; Franz Tost (AUT) Scuderia Toro Rosso Team Principal.
30.09.2016 - Press conference, Eric Boullier (FRA) McLaren Racing Director
29.09.2016 - Eric Boullier (FRA) McLaren Racing Director
17.09.2016 - Free Practice 3, Eric Boullier (FRA) McLaren Racing Director
(L to R): Franz Tost (AUT) Scuderia Toro Rosso Team Principal with Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Ferrari Test and Development Driver.
27.08.2016.
(L to R): Franz Tost (AUT) Scuderia Toro Rosso Team Principal with Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Ferrari Test and Development Driver.
27.08.2016.
(L to R): Eric Boullier (FRA) McLaren Racing Director and Frederic Vasseur (FRA) Renault Sport F1 Team Racing Director in the FIA Press Conference.
26.08.2016.
The FIA Press Conference (from back row (L to R)): Robert Fernley (GBR) Sahara Force India F1 Team Deputy Team Principal; Eric Boullier (FRA) McLaren Racing Director; Frederic Vasseur (FRA) Renault Sport F1 Team Racing Director; Monisha Kaltenborn (AUT) Sauber Team Principal; Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal; Claire Williams (GBR) Williams Deputy Team Principal. 
26.08.2016.
31.07.2016 - Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Ferrari reserve driver
30.07.2016 - Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Ferrari reserve driver
10.07.2016 - Eric Boullier (FRA) McLaren Racing Director
10.07.2016 - Eric Boullier (FRA) McLaren Racing Director
08.07.2016 - Press conference, Dave Ryan, Manor Racing, Racing Director, Vijay Mallya (IND), Chairman and Managine Director Force India, Eric Boullier (FRA) McLaren Racing Director, Maurizio Arrivabene (ITA) Ferrari Team Principal, Claire Williams (GBR) Williams Deputy Team Principal and Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director
08.07.2016 - Free Practice 2, Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Ferrari reserve driver
08.07.2016 - Press conference, Eric Boullier (FRA) McLaren Racing Director
01.07.2016 - Eric Boullier (FRA) Racing director McLaren Honda
12.06.2016 - Race, Javier Bardem (ESP), Actor and Eric Boullier (FRA) McLaren Racing Director

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.