Lotus team boss Eric Boullier echoed everyone around him at the team's 2013 launch on Monday by claiming that that winning was the only goal for the new season, but added that its strong driver was a key factor in that ambition.
While retaining Kimi Raikkonen
was something of a no-brainer for the Enstone squad after his strong return to the top flight netted a win amongst seven podium finish, there was more deliberation over whether Romain Grosjean
deserved a place in the line-up after a mercurial campaign that deliver blinding speed and a combination of good finishes and first lap accidents.
In the end, the Frenchman was
confirmed alongside Raikkonen for a second term, and Boullier insists that his inclusion will only help serve the team well.
“We know that both drivers work well together and their skills and talents complement each other,” he reasoned, “Kimi has such a wide range of experience and knows how to react to any situation or circumstance. He's also a superb resource technically, [while] Romain has superb raw speed which we are confident will be harnessed in a more effective manner during races in 2013.
“Both are competitive individuals - as racing drivers are - and this pushes each one of them, and the team, to better things. It was clear how much we benefitted from having two very talented drivers in 2012 and I can only see this getting even better in 2013.”
'Getting better in 2013', of course, means improving on the positions occupied at the end of 2012, where Raikkonen finished third in the individual standings behind Sebastian Vettel
and Fernando Alonso, and Lotus filled fourth spot in the teams' ranking.
“We want to do better than we did last year,” Boullier agreed, “2012 was a good season for us - certainly in the context of the previous season - but we, like every team in this highly competitive sport, want to win. We want to make regular appearances on the podium, and add to our tally of appearances on the top step.”