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Q&A - Eric Boullier, Lotus

Lotus boss Eric Boullier talks tyres, the Spanish Grand Prix and what to expect from Monaco 2013
Q:
There's been a lot of talk about tyres and now it's been announced that there are changes to come; how does this sit with the team?


Eric Boullier:
There aren't many sports where there are such fundamental changes to an essential ingredient part-way through a season. Just imagine for a moment that, because a football team can't run as fast as its opponent, the dimensions of the pitch are changed at half time! That there are changes to come can be seen as somewhat frustrating, and I hope they are not too extreme. It's clear that Pirelli have found themselves in a difficult situation and under pressure from different quarters. Last year, when we were designing our 2013 car, each team received information from Pirelli and everyone did the best job they could to develop a chassis which would make best use of the tyre characteristics. We even ran with some experimental 2013 tyres at the end of last season, to assist us in confirming our development paths.

As with every season, some teams do a better job than others with their designs, and some drivers are more adaptable than others to the changes of both car and tyre. It is frustrating when you've developed a car from a set of tyre specifications which are available to everyone – for tyres that are the same for everyone – to then be told that they are being changed mid-season. That said, we have a team of talented designers and engineers who will be working twice as hard to ensure we adapt to these changes in the most competitive manner.

Q:
Last year the team celebrated its 500th Grand Prix in Monaco; how would you rate the first races of the second 500?

Eric Boullier:
Since Monaco last year we've had twelve podium finishes including two wins – in Abu Dhabi last year and Australia this season – so we've been doing a pretty good job. Like everyone in motor racing, we're not entirely satisfied unless we're winning races and leading championships, so those are certainly what we're pushing for.

Q:
It was a short race for Romain in Barcelona; how do you ensure a failure like this doesn't happen again?

Eric Boullier:
It was frustrating for Romain and frustrating for the whole team. A Formula 1 car is made of so many components, and despite all the checks every once in a while a failure happens. Our technical team has taken immediate action, identified where the problem was and redesigned a new part for Monaco onwards.

Q:
For Kimi it was pretty much a perfect race again?

Eric Boullier:
It's clear that Kimi is driving very well at the moment and our car is capable of consistently delivering strong performance. There are some clear areas where we want to improve, with the car and with the team, but we have had a very strong baseline when we've visited every track so far this season; we're hopeful of the same in Monaco.

Q:
How has the team reacted to the changes to the technical department?

Eric Boullier:
We have a very strong technical department made of many people. It's an illustration of the strength of talent at Enstone that we were able to promote from within, and Nick Chester has been working on adopting his new role for some time now. We have plenty of upgrades to come for the E21, as well as the additional challenge of reacting to the forthcoming tyre changes. We're confident we can maintain performance and development with this year's car whilst at the same time developing an exciting car for 2014 and the new regulations.

Q:
What's the team's outlook right now?

Eric Boullier:
It's good that we're consistent, but we're greedy and want more wins. We are hungry for more points and we want to keep being in the battle at every race.



Tagged as: Monaco , Pirelli , Lotus , Eric Boullier

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
09.05.2013- Eric Boullier (FRA), Team Manager, Lotus F1 Team
24.07.2014- Pirelli Hospitality
24.07.2014- Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E22
24.07.2014- Press conference, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Caterham F1 Team CT-04 and Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E22
24.07.2014- Press conference, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E22
24.07.2014- Press conference, Kamui Kobayashi (JAP) Caterham F1 Team CT-04, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX), Sauber F1 Team C33, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Caterham F1 Team CT-04, Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07 and Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E22
24.07.2014- Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E22
24.07.2014- Pirelli Tyres
24.07.2014- Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9
24.07.2014- Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E22
24.07.2014- Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E22
24.07.2014- Pirelli Tyres
24.07.2014- Lotus F1 Team E22, detail
24.07.2014- Lotus F1 Team E22, detail
24.07.2014- Pirelli Tyres
24.07.2014- Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E22
24.07.2014- Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E22
24.07.2014- Pirelli Tyres

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