F1 » 4 April 2013
Lotus will bounce back, insists Boullier
Eric Boullier expects his Lotus team to return to the front of the field after a disappointing performance in the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Lotus F1 team boss Eric Boullier insists that the Malaysian Grand Prix was just a temporary blip in what promises to be a successful season for the Enstone squad.
After Kimi Raikkonen cruised to victory at the opening round in Melbourne, much was expected of both E21s at Sepang, but the Finn could manage only seventh place, one spot behind team-mate Romain Grosjean, as Red Bull and Mercedes took charge. Raikkonen's result could have been better had he not incurred a blocking penalty in qualifying, but Boullier insists that the team was simply off its marks all weekend.
"I do not think [our pace] has revealed our true potential in the race," the Frenchman was quoted by Brazil's Totalrace website, "You would expect a better result under normal conditions.
"The classification was not in our favour and the time lost at the start we could not recover. However, I think the team did a safe strategy for both cars to get points, and we were able to maintain contact with the leaders [in the standings], so it was good.”
With the sultry, and frequently wet, conditions of Kuala Lumpur behind it, Boullier is confident that Lotus can bounce back and be a threat at the next few races. Raikkonen was running well in Shanghai last year before worn tyres saw him plummet out of the points in the closing stages, while both drivers were on the podium in Bahrain after challenging Sebastian Vettel for the win.
Ironically, it was tyre conservation that allowed Raikkonen to win in Australia this season, although a similar strategy, which saw both Lotus drivers stop one fewer time than the majority in Malaysia did not have the same effect.
"A very good race to do is take care of the tyres, but Malaysia was a bit challenging, so let's hope for normal conditions," Boullier noted, "With our car, we have good pace after a lap, and with it, good race pace."
The Frenchman's views were echoed by technical director James Allison, who claimed the opening phase of the race effectively ended the squad's hopes of winning two in a row.
“It's true, we didn't have a good race at Sepang, and it didn't show what our car can really do,” he told Speed Week, “The damage was done in the first few laps, when we fell half a minute behind, as Romain was only 35 seconds behind Vettel at the end.
Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Start the conversation - Add your comment
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.