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Boullier: We need to move on

Eric Boullier insists that Lotus needs to put the Belgian Grand Prix behind it and press on with Kimi Raikkonen's title shot.
Lotus F1 team principal Eric Boullier has played down his squad's underwhelming Belgian Grand Prix and insisted that there is still enough time in the season - and potential in the E20 - for Kimi Raikkonen to mount a title bid.

Taking advantage of the double retirement of championship leader Fernando Alonso and McLaren's Lewis Hamilton at La Source on lap one, Raikkonen claimed a podium finish to move back into fourth place in the standings, and now sits just 33 points adrift of Alonso as the series heads to Monza for the final European race. However, the Belgian weekend did not live up to expectations for the Enstone-based team, which had been denied the chance to debut its 'double DRS' system after rain throughout Friday practice made fine-tuning impossible. Romain Grosjean then blotted his copybook by triggering the lap one shunt, resulting in him earning a one-race ban for Italy.

"We now need to move on," Boullier insisted, "It almost feels like a hangover! You just wake up with a headache, you try to remember what happened the day before and then slowly realise that is wasn't a nightmare.

"Romain was really banned for a race, which it hard to believe, but there's nothing we can do about this. We've accepted the decision of the stewards, we did not appeal, and Romain apologised to the drivers involved in the incident. Also, this penalty has somehow hidden Kimi's sixth podium this season. He's now one point away from third in the championship on his comeback year, and this is really impressive."

Whilst accepting that the E20 was not quite the potent force many had expected it to be at Spa-Francorchamps, Boullier insisted that the car remained a genuine contender, even if it would not feature the much-hyped 'double DRS system at the fastest track on the schedule [see story here].

"I don't think [we should be worried]," he said, "First of all, Spa is a very specific track and none of the remaining circuits have the same characteristics. Also, we only had one hour to set-up our cars and, although the situation was the same for everybody, we could have been quicker with more track time.

"We know that we don't have the quickest car, but probably the most consistent one. We've clinched nine podiums already, Kimi is 33 points away from the current leader and we know that the season is still wide open. With eight races to go, we'll keep pushing as long as we have a chance. Kimi has been under that kind of
situation before and we all know he can do the job if we give him the right car. The pressure is on us.

"[However], quite a few interesting developments are still in the pipeline and they'll be implemented later in the year. At this time of the year, the team usually starts focusing almost only on its next car. This is not the case this year, as we'll develop the E20 until the very last race - and that won't compromise the design of the E21."



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
02.09.2012- Race, Start of the race, Crash, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E20 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F2012
02.09.2012- Race,Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E20 and Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W03
02.09.2012- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E20
30.08.2012- Eric Boullier (FRA), Team Manager, Lotus F1 Team
01.09.2012- Free Practice 3, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E20
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Yamaha R1 - Unregistered

September 05, 2012 6:23 PM

ERIC.....I am now getting tired of you banging on about Lotus can still win a race or win the title instead of just talking about it let's see you and Lopez give Kimi a motor capable of it and the pit crew work on their pitstops and get as fast as mclaren and then I will listen to you!!! So come on boullier answer this one and tell us if you are going to give kimi better support and a better car....

blublz

September 06, 2012 12:14 PM

. . . Unlike the device. The team will be depending on Kimi delving deeper into his bag of driving skills to stay in the hunt for the drivers championship, along with Romain learning some new ones. I just hope that Lotus arent sitting back satisfied with themselves and looking to next season, I remember how BMW failled to push on in 2008 with RK.



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