F1 »

Boullier: Staying ahead of Mercedes 'an absolute priority' for Renault

Lotus Renault GP managing director Eric Boullier concedes that his team's principal goal now is to retain fourth spot in the F1 2011 constructors' standings - and he foresees 'a strong step forward' in Valencia this weekend
Eric Boullier has stated that retaining fourth spot in the F1 2011 constructors' standings is 'an absolute priority' for Lotus Renault GP as the campaign heads towards its summer break in four races' time – but before that, he hopes to claim 'another podium or two' and forecasts 'a strong step forward' in the upcoming European Grand Prix in Valencia.

Courtesy of Vitaly Petrov's fifth position last time out in Montreal, Renault maintained its advantage over Mercedes Grand Prix in the teams' table, but its rival is closing in and has looked the stronger proposition over the past few outings. The Enstone-based outfit, though, was unlucky not to come away with a double points-finish from a distinctly eventful Canadian Grand Prix after Nick Heidfeld found himself caught out by Kamui Kobayashi, as managing director Boullier reflects.

“It was completely unusual to have such a deluge but, as we thought it would be, the race was very exciting and a fantastic spectacle until the very last lap,” he acknowledged. “There's no doubt we could have had a better result, and seeing Nick collide with Kamui was not pleasant, but I am obviously happy for Vitaly who had another strong weekend.”

Whilst he concedes that 'dramatic, exciting races are what fans want to see', Boullier would doubtless settle for a rather more straightforward time of things around the streets of Valencia this weekend. Confident that Renault is now getting back on-track following a dip in performance in the wake of back-to-back rostrums at the beginning of the campaign, the Frenchman admits that improving the R31's qualifying form is the principal short-term goal.

“Obviously we are still struggling a bit in qualifying – we need to be higher up on the starting grid – but we are fighting for the top six, and I'm convinced things will get even better in Valencia,” he underlined. “It is beneficial for the sport to have these street circuits, as it provides a contrast from some of the purpose-built tracks. The track will suit us well, and we expect to be fighting for places on the front three rows.

“We have made a lot of technical tweaks to the car, a number of which came as a result of understanding our lack of qualifying performance. If you add to these a couple of upgrades, we should be able to take a strong step forward.

“We need another podium or two [before the summer break] to cement our position amongst the grid's elite teams and to remain competitive ahead of Mercedes GP, whose season has clearly improved. Retaining our position in the top four in the constructors' championship is an absolute priority for us, and we must continue to lay down the marker over the next four races.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
11.06.2011- Qualifying, Nick Heidfeld (GER) Lotus Renault GP R31
11.06.2011- Qualifying, Nick Heidfeld (GER) Lotus Renault GP R31
11.06.2011- Saturday Practice, Nick Heidfeld (GER) Lotus Renault GP R31
10.06.2011- Friday Practice 1, Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Lotus Renault GP, R31
10.06.2011- Friday Practice 1, Nick Heidfeld (GER) Lotus Renault GP R31
28.05.2011- Saturday Practice, Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Lotus Renault GP, R31
28.05.2011- Saturday Practice, Nick Heidfeld (GER) Lotus Renault GP R31
28.05.2011- Saturday Practice, Nick Heidfeld (GER) Lotus Renault GP R31
26.05.2011- First Practice Session, Nick Heidfeld (GER) Lotus Renault GP R31
24.03.2011- Eric Boullier (FRA), Team Manager, Renault F1 Team
26.03.2011- Eric Boullier (FRA), Team Manager, Renault F1 Team
10.04.2011- Race, Nick Fry (GBR), Chief Executive Officer, Mercedes GP and Eric Boullier (FRA), Team Manager, Renault F1 Team
French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Daniel Ricciardo tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


Duke - Unregistered

June 23, 2011 2:40 PM

The 2 teams are a close call,not much between them,but probably Merc will "overtake"them now that MSC is showing form again.Petrov is finding his feet,and definitely looking strong.(Please don't crash into Schumi though!)



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.