Lotus F1 team boss Eric Boullier has said the outfit will be disappointed if they don't get both cars close to or on the podium in Canada next weekend.
Lotus endured its worst outing of the season in Monaco last Sunday picking up just one point, after Kimi Raikkonen finished tenth, the Finn slipping back from fifth late on, after he got a puncture following the clash with McLaren's Sergio Perez.
Team-mate Romain Grosjean also didn't fare very well in the sister car, and after crashing twice in practice, he ploughed into the back of Daniel Ricciardo's Toro Rosso in the race. That earned him a ten-place grid penalty for the event in Montreal, so he already goes there on the backfoot.
However, despite all those trials and tribulations, Boullier is convinced the squad can fight back at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
“As long as Monaco was just a minor blip – and there's nothing to suggest that it wasn't – there's no evidence to suggest we can't return to consistently strong performances and be back in the reckoning for big points [in Montreal],” he stated ahead of round seven in the F1 2013 World Championship. “One bad race in nineteen doesn't define your Championship; we just need to ensure that we don't have another weekend like Monaco.”
“What we do know is that this year's car is strong and has performed well on all different types of track layout, so it's reasonable to expect a good weekend in Canada. I don't think it will be an easy weekend, but we'll be disappointed if both cars aren't close to – or on – the podium,” he confirmed.
Furthermore while Monaco was disappointing, Boullier doesn't think it was all bad: “Despite the negatives of the result, there are positives. Once more our car was competitive at a very different venue and we have now shown we can compete on all types of circuit.
“We have also maintained a good rate of development with the E21 relative to our opposition which bodes well for the rest of the season. As a weekend it was very frustrating, yes, but Monaco is often like that.”
“Kimi had a strong drive on Sunday [too] and was in an easy fifth position until the incident with Sergio,” Boullier continued, “Although we were better in terms of race pace than those ahead, it's almost impossible to overtake in Monaco and there were no mistakes or issues from the cars in front, so he became stuck in a train for most of the race. When forced to make a final pit stop towards the end, he was able to show some of the potential in the car; passing others at ease. I think this demonstrates just how talented he is – to have made up those places around Monaco without any drama – and perhaps also a little bit of how angry he was at losing fifth place and the points he would have otherwise scored.
“[As for] Romain, he had great pace all weekend, but got frustrated in the race as he wasn't able to fight for the kind of positions he ought to have after getting caught out behind a slower driver in the drying qualifying session and ending up thirteenth on the grid.
“He drove strongly to finish on the podium in Bahrain and should – according to our simulations – have finished in third position before his suspension failed in Barcelona, but Monaco was a frustrating weekend for him. Despite this, we're sure he'll be able to press the reset button and go to Montreal ready to focus on getting another good result.”