10 October 2012
Q&A - Eric Boullier, Lotus
Eric Boullier prepares for the Korean Grand Prix
What do we say after Suzuka?
Obviously, it didn't go as well as expected. Of course, I could always say that we've increased our gap to Mercedes in the constructors' championship, that Kimi is still third in the drivers' classification, that our pace in qualifying was actually very good... But, ultimately, we scored 8 points only where, after P3 on Saturday, we could have thought about a much better result. It would have been possible to close our gap to Ferrari in the standing and, ultimately, it has increased. Not ideal.
What do you think of Romain's incident at the start?
We could see in Singapore, when Romain was back after his race ban, that some other drivers were putting extra pressure on him at the start. In Suzuka, Romain made a small mistake by misjudging his pace relative to Mark [Webber], which was a bit higher. We have sat down and spoken. We understand what has to be done. I think in Singapore to an extent and in Suzuka he was almost trying to overcompensate by focusing on staying out of trouble, which in the last race had the opposite effect.
Kimi never seemed to have the pace...
You're right, the car's pace was not as good as we were expecting and it actually became worse as the race progressed. Starting seventh we had higher hopes, but if you don't have the pace completely it doesn't work well. We couldn't put everything together in order to make his race more successful and gain more places.
What are your hopes for the upgrades scheduled for Korea?
Every time you bring new developments you hope that they will work as predicted. The upgrades for Korea are a big step; it is the opening of a new era for us. We expect that they are going to work, but of course it's always a difficult task to find the correct setup for the car when you are also evaluating new parts. What happened with our “DDRS” shows that you can't take any improvement for granted until you actually measured it on the track. Let's say that we are cautiously optimistic.
What are your thoughts on the team's potential in the Championship?
I think the nearer we get to the end of the season, the more difficult it will be to achieve top results. We need to stay united though, stay focused on our job and make sure we can bring home more points. We're certainly facing less pressure from behind than we could have expected with a 104 point buffer from Mercedes in fifth, however it's starting to become harder now to catch Ferrari ahead of us in third position. Coming into Suzuka with a 14 point difference and six races to go was a lot more achievable than 24 points with five remaining. What's clear is that we need to get both of our cars into the points. We also need to add performance to the E20 so we are not having to trade paint with Ferrari, but are well ahead of them on the track instead.
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