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Q&A - Eric Boullier, Lotus

Eric Boullier talks about the German and Hungarian Grand Prix
The team has fallen from third position in the Constructors' Championship. Can this be regained in the second half of the year?

Eric Boullier:
It's obviously disappointing to lose third place, but it's very, very tight and we've built a gap over the fifth-placed team. However, we are hungry for success and we do want more. If we can keep bringing the developments and updates we have been planning and make them work on track then I think we should be able to defend our current position. I am not sure about third or fourth by the end of the year, as everything is very close, but I am pretty convinced that we will be in the fight for one of the prime places in the Constructors' Championship.

How do you rate the team's performance in Germany?

Eric Boullier:
We saw a great recovery from Kimi after a difficult qualifying session. He put in a very strong and experienced drive coupled with a good strategy from the team. Starting in tenth and nineteenth positions we were always going to have our work cut out, so it was good to see Kimi score big points again and display strong race pace. Going forwards, it's clear what we need to do for better results. Anyone who watches Formula 1 can tell us this. We need to do better in qualifying. It's clear that if we want to win the races we have to be top four or five on the grid.

It was one of Romain's difficult weekends – he seems to be either hot or cold in terms of his race performances?

Eric Boullier:
We have all seen him have very good weekends, but we have also seen weekends where the results have not been as Romain or anyone in the team would have wanted. This means we need to ensure that he has solid weekends even when circumstances are against him, such as starting from the back of the grid. He's still learning. It's only his first full year. But as we all know he can do very well and we are working with him to ensure that he always puts in a solid drive. This includes making it through the first lap which is obviously very important.

Qualifying was difficult for the team with a lack of pace in wet conditions – something we've not seen before?

Eric Boullier:
We have not really seen that before, and hopefully we won't see it again! We need to look in detail at what happened. The temperature was very low and the rain showers were short and intense. We are looking into it and will fix it if it happens again.

The driver line-up was seen as something of a brave move by the team. How do you assess Kimi and Romain in their half term report cards?

Eric Boullier:
I don't see much of a downside to Kimi to be honest. He came back to his speed level very quickly and I would not be surprised if he wins very soon. Romain is still building himself up. Even if he did seven races two years ago, he never had a real chance to blossom, so for me he is still very much in his first year. He is making mistakes - of course - because he is a youngster. But the good news is that he never repeats a mistake! He is learning, listening and getting stronger with every race.

What do you want to achieve from the next ten races?

Eric Boullier:
On paper I would say with the experience we have learnt from the first ten races, we should be able to score more points in the second half of the year, which will be very good for our championship battle.

How much happier are you at the half way mark of the season compared to this time last year?

Eric Boullier:
Significantly; if I had to take a number, let's say 1000 per cent!

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
21.06.2012- Eric Boullier (FRA), Team Manager, Lotus F1 Team
John Watson driving the McLaren MP4B at the 1982 Caesars Palace Grand Prix, Las Vegas
Guy Moll at the 1934 Grand Prix Automobile de Montreux   [pic credit:Agence de presse Meurisse/Bibliothèque nationale de France]
2014 FIA European F3 champion Esteban Ocon is to test with Lotus F1
12.10.2014- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
12.10.2014- Race, the start
12.10.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
12.10.2014- Vitaly Mutko (RUS) Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation
12.10.2014- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
12.10.2014- Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
12.10.2014- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 in the press conference after the race
12.10.2014- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 celebrates Manufactor title of Mercedes with the team
12.10.2014- Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E22
12.10.2014- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
12.10.2014-  Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10 with a fan
12.10.2014- Fabiana Flosi (BRA)
12.10.2014- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
12.10.2014- Max Chilton (GBR), Marussia F1 Team MR03 and all the Marussia F1 Team show a panel for Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team MR03

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