Lotus F1 team boss Eric Boullier looks back on the Monaco Grand Prix
and ahead to next weekend's race in Canada...Q:
Eric, Monaco wasn't a great weekend…Eric Boullier:
Yes, we don't want another sporting weekend like that. Despite the negatives of the result however, there are positives. Once more our car was competitive at a very different venue and we have now shown we can compete on all types of circuit. We have also maintained a good rate of development with the E21 relative to our opposition which bodes well for the rest of the season. As a weekend it was very frustrating, yes, but Monaco is often like that.Q:
How would you rate the driver's performances in Monte Carlo?Eric Boullier:
Kimi [Raikkonen] had a strong drive on Sunday and was in an easy fifth position until the incident with Sergio [Perez]. Although we were better in terms of race pace than those ahead, it's almost impossible to overtake in Monaco and there were no mistakes or issues from the cars in front, so he became stuck in a train for most of the race. When forced to make a final pit stop towards the end, he was able to show some of the potential in the car; passing others at ease. I think this demonstrates just how talented he is – to have made up those places around Monaco without any drama – and perhaps also a little bit of how angry he was at losing fifth place and the points he would have otherwise scored.
Romain [Grosjean] had great pace all weekend, but got frustrated in the race as he wasn't able to fight for the kind of positions he ought to have after getting caught out behind a slower driver in the drying qualifying session and ending up thirteenth on the grid. He drove strongly to finish on the podium in Bahrain and should – according to our simulations – have finished in third position before his suspension failed in Barcelona, but Monaco was a frustrating weekend for him. Despite this, we're sure he'll be able to press the reset button and go to Montréal ready to focus on getting another good result.Q:
Montréal was a good weekend for the team last year; does that help with the mindset?Eric Boullier:
Yes we did well there last year and yes it's good in terms of the memories, but that doesn't mean we'll necessarily do well there this year. What we do know is that this year's car is strong and has performed well on all different types of track layout, so it's reasonable to expect a good weekend in Canada. I don't think it will be an easy weekend, but we'll be disappointed if both cars aren't close to – or on – the podium.Q:
Tyres are a hot topic once again; for many reasons?Eric Boullier:
To have one team running this season's car in a private test with the sport's sole tyre supplier is unusual to say the least; especially if no-one is told about it in advance, or even afterwards. Had we been offered the same opportunity in a legitimate and transparent fashion – where all teams agreed – we would have welcomed it. Certainly what has happened appears to be against the Sporting Regulations and the teams' testing agreement, so it will be interesting to hear the outcome of the on-going activity regarding this matter.Q:
The team has slipped a little in both Championships after Monaco; can we fight back?Eric Boullier:
As long as Monaco was just a minor blip – and there's nothing to suggest that it wasn't – there's no evidence to suggest we can't return to consistently strong performances and be back in the reckoning for big points. One bad race in nineteen doesn't define your Championship; we just need to ensure that we don't have another weekend like Monaco.