F1 »

Boullier: Lotus not ‘falling away’ from the front

Lotus team boss Eric Boullier insists that the Enstone squad is not a spent force following disappointing results in Monaco and Montreal.

Despite back-to-back races where the team's performance fell short of previous achievements in 2013, Lotus team boss Eric Boullier insists that there is no cause for concern.

The Enstone team claimed five podium finishes in the first five rounds of the season – the double in Bahrain masking a miss in Malaysia where it managed only sixth and seventh places – but failed to better ninth position in either Monaco or Canada, as Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean appeared to be falling off the pace of Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes.

Although the Finn – who was forced out of a better scoring position in Monaco following a clash with Sergio Perez – maintained his record-equalling points run with top ten finishes in the two latest rounds, he has now slipped behind Fernando Alonso in the race to challenge Sebastien Vettel at the head of the drivers' table, but Boullier insists that, while Montreal was more of a struggle, Lotus remains a contender.

“Certainly not,” the Frenchman replied when asked whether his team was 'falling away' from the front of the field, “In Monaco, it was clear we had the pace and potential to achieve good results [and, while] we struggled a little bit in Canada, we have been able to identify clear reasons why this occurred. We've learnt some valuable lessons and drawn the line under the Canadian Grand Prix. We head to Silverstone with a determined strategy to be back fighting for podiums - we're certainly not going to let two weekends of poor results stop us in our efforts.”

Raikkonen's performance has been the constant in Lotus' season so, far, the Finn equalling Michael Schumacher's run of 24 consecutive points finishes in Montreal and looking to erase his former title rival from the history books at Silverstone this weekend. Although he slipped behind Alonso in the championship race after Canada, Boullier has been impressed by the Finn's contribution.

“Kimi's a points scoring machine and it will be nice if he sets a new record, even if he says he's not bothered by that sort of thing,” the team boss admitted, “Since his comeback with us, he has been the most reliable driver on the grid for scoring points, and it's interesting to reflect back to the doubt some people had about his return to F1.

“Kimi did a great job [in Canada] when you consider that he was suffering from a brake issue, and he continued his run of points finishes. It's frustrating for him and it's frustrating for us that he's finished without a strong points haul for a second consecutive race, but we have everything in place for Silverstone to reverse that trend.
He's had some bad luck in the last two races, but I'm sure the drivers he's competing with will also have some bad luck too.”

Team-mate Grosjean suffered a rough weekend in Monaco, resurrecting doubts over his ability as an F1 driver, but Boullier insists that there is no axe hanging over his fellow Frenchman as Lotus heads to its 'home' race this weekend.





Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
09.06.2013- Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E213
09.06.2013- Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E213
08.06.2013- Qualifying, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
23.05.2013- Free Practice 1, Eric Boullier (FRA), Team Manager, Lotus F1 Team and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
23.05.2013- Free Practice 1, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
23.05.2013- Free Practice 2, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
The Lotus F1 E22 running new 18 inch Pirelli tyres and rims.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.
Charles Pic (FRA) Lotus F1 E22 Third Driver.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.
The Lotus F1 E22 running new 18 inch Pirelli tyres and rims.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.
Marussia F1 Team truck in the paddock.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.
Charles Pic (FRA) Lotus F1 E22 Third Driver leaves the pits running new 18 inch Pirelli tyres and rims.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.
Charles Pic (FRA) Lotus F1 E22 Third Driver leaves the pits running new 18 inch Pirelli tyres and rims.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.
Charles Pic (FRA) Lotus F1 E22 Third Driver leaves the pits running new 18 inch Pirelli tyres and rims.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.
Charles Pic (FRA) Lotus F1 E22 Third Driver leaves the pits running new 18 inch Pirelli tyres and rims.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.
Charles Pic (FRA) Lotus F1 E22 Third Driver leaves the pits running new 18 inch Pirelli tyres and rims.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.
Charles Pic (FRA) Lotus F1 E22 Third Driver leaves the pits running new 18 inch Pirelli tyres and rims.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.
Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren MP4-29.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.
Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren MP4-29.
09.07.2014. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Wednesday.

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.


Taz

June 24, 2013 9:20 AM

"but I'm sure the drivers he's competing with will also have some bad luck too" Bit worrying that he's relying on others to have bad luck. Hope they turn it around though as I don't want to see Red Bull walk away with another title without a good fight. Ferrari and Lotus need to take the fight to them now, Merc will soon be there after a few more illegal tests :) ...sorry, GP2 tests.



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

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