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Eric Boullier, Lotus – Q&A

After a difficult weekend in Spa – with performance falling short of expectations and Kimi's unbroken run of Grand Prix finishes coming to an end – Team Principal Eric Boullier looks at the positives heading to Monza.

Q:
What was your assessment of the Belgian Grand Prix?

Eric Boullier:
It was a disappointing weekend, with qualifying not as good as we had expected and then a difficult first lap in the race from which we weren't able to recover. Romain drove strongly with the performance he had at his disposal and Kimi was working his way past other drivers before he experienced his brake failure. Ultimately, it was a race where we should have performed better.

Q:
The E21 didn't look as competitive at Spa as it was in Budapest; is this worrying for the rest of the season?

Eric Boullier:
I don't think so, as Spa is a very specific track and none of the remaining circuits have the same characteristics. For this season it is not a concern, but certainly for next year's car we need to understand more why we have struggled at Spa relative to our pace elsewhere as we experienced something similar last season too. Looking to the next eight races, we have quite a few interesting developments still in the pipeline and we're focused on achieving the best results we can.

Q:
Could what happened with Kimi's car have been avoided?

Eric Boullier:
We've traced what we believe was the cause of the brake issue to a cooling duct which was blocked by a helmet visor tear-off. It's pretty normal to experience this, and once the brake disc was too hot it could not cool sufficiently. This meant that Kimi's brakes continued to run hot, and we all saw that with the smoke. They were still slowing the car sufficiently – as we could see by his overtaking moves for position – until there was complete failure of the component. With anything like this, you need a component in a precise temperature window to perform correctly. Do you run with more cooling to compensate for any potential blockages? No, because you won't get optimum performance from the brakes as they won't be in their correct temperature window. Of course, we're studying all the data and working on ways to avoid a similar situation from happening in the future. It was unfortunate for Kimi to experience his retirement, but this is sometimes part of motor racing so we must now switch our focus to Monza.

Q:
What are the team's expectations for Monza?

Eric Boullier:
It's a very different circuit from Spa and we have an equally different aerodynamic package for the car. The weather is usually better in Italy than we saw in Belgium this year so that could help us. We certainly expect better performance and results than we saw last time out.

Q:
Kimi's battle for the Drivers' World Championship received quite a blow; what can the team to do fight back?

Eric Boullier:
We need to get Kimi back on the podium and consistently. His DNF in Spa was the first he has had with Lotus F1 Team and we certainly don't want to see any more this season. He's been on the podium six times so far this year and there are eight races remaining. We all know that the gap to Sebastian [Vettel] is not getting any smaller, but behind Seb the battle is quite tight as we've seen over the last few races.
What does the team need to do to ensure Kimi stays next season and beyond?
It's clear that Kimi likes racing for us and would like to continue, which is a testament to all the hard work put in by everyone at Enstone. From our perspective, we can see what a complete driver he is and how much he brings to the team in many different areas. Kimi wants to be assured that we have everything in place to tackle the significant changes we will see in the sport next year. We're working hard to assure him that Lotus F1 Team is where he should be and piece by piece we are getting all our ducks in a row.



Tagged as: Monza , Italy , Lotus , Eric Boullier

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
28.07.2013- Race, Grid: Eric Boullier (FRA), Team Manager, Renault F1 Team
The Lotus F1 E22 running new 18 inch Pirelli tyres and rims.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.
Charles Pic (FRA) Lotus F1 E22 Third Driver.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.
The Lotus F1 E22 running new 18 inch Pirelli tyres and rims.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.
Charles Pic (FRA) Lotus F1 E22 Third Driver leaves the pits running new 18 inch Pirelli tyres and rims.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.
Charles Pic (FRA) Lotus F1 E22 Third Driver leaves the pits running new 18 inch Pirelli tyres and rims.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.
Charles Pic (FRA) Lotus F1 E22 Third Driver leaves the pits running new 18 inch Pirelli tyres and rims.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.
Charles Pic (FRA) Lotus F1 E22 Third Driver leaves the pits running new 18 inch Pirelli tyres and rims.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.
Charles Pic (FRA) Lotus F1 E22 Third Driver leaves the pits running new 18 inch Pirelli tyres and rims.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.
Charles Pic (FRA) Lotus F1 E22 Third Driver leaves the pits running new 18 inch Pirelli tyres and rims.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.
Charles Pic (FRA) Lotus F1 E22 Third Driver leaves the pits running new 18 inch Pirelli tyres and rims.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.
Charles Pic (FRA) Lotus F1 E22 Third Driver leaves the pits running new 18 inch Pirelli tyres and rims.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.
Charles Pic (FRA) Lotus F1 E22 Third Driver leaves the pits running new 18 inch Pirelli tyres and rims.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.
Charles Pic (FRA) Lotus F1 E22 Third Driver leaves the pits running new 18 inch Pirelli tyres and rims.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.
Charles Pic (FRA) Lotus F1 E22 Third Driver leaves the pits running new 18 inch Pirelli tyres and rims.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.
Charles Pic (FRA) Lotus F1 E22 Third Driver leaves the pits running new 18 inch Pirelli tyres and rims.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.
(L to R): Paul Hembery (GBR) Pirelli Motorsport Director and Mario Isola (ITA) Pirelli Racing Manager and the Lotus F1 E22 with new 18 inch Pirelli tyres and rims.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.
The Lotus F1 E22 with new 18 inch Pirelli tyres and rims.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.

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