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Eric Boullier, Lotus - Q&A

1 June 2012


Lotus team boss Eric Boullier looks back on Monaco and ahead to next weekend's Canadian Grand Prix...



Q:
Eric, how are the team approaching the Canadian Grand Prix?

Eric Boullier:
We approach the Grand Prix as any other. We have a car which has shown good pace all season and two drivers who have both shown they can deliver podium performances in this highly competitive season. Yes, we are coming off the back of a disappointing weekend in Monaco, but we've shrugged off worse setbacks than that.

Q:
What went wrong in Monaco?

Eric Boullier:
Put simply, we didn't achieve the results we wanted, or the results it looked like should have had. It's difficult to achieve a good result if one car doesn't make it to the first corner, and that's what happened to Romain [Grosjean]. It was a racing incident, but that doesn't make it any easier for us to stomach as it was clear he had good pace all weekend. Kimi [Raikkonen] never quite got everything hooked up, and in the race he was unable to push as he struggled for grip. We can't get too hung up on this: it was one weekend in twenty. Hopefully we deliver better in the remaining 14 races.

Q:
How does the team bounce back from a difficult weekend like that?

Eric Boullier:
The positives we have are the same as we've had all year. The E20 is fast, strong and reliable. Our speed on Thursday and Saturday in Monaco was easily unlocked and both drivers felt comfortable with their cars. We all know that Monaco is unique in its requirements, so it's far better to have problems with the distinct needs of Monte Carlo than with the more normal circuit layouts.

Q:
Does the result in Monaco change the battle plan for the Canadian Grand Prix?

Eric Boullier:
Everyone in the team knows their job and we are all focused on achieving the best results possible. We don't approach any event differently from another. We know there are areas where we are strong and we know there are areas where we need to improve, and these are areas where we focus our efforts. Setbacks and successes are both part of this sport, but we are hoping for more of the latter this year.

Q:
How are the team's championship prospects?

Eric Boullier:
This season has been interesting as no-one has been able to dominate, in either the drivers' or constructors' championships. We have the same number of points as Ferrari in third position in the constructors' championship, while Kimi is 25 points away from Fernando Alonso who's leading the drivers' classification. Anything can still happen and the championship is wide open.

Q:
How do view the strength of F1 as a sport at the moment?

Eric Boullier:
I think it's in good health. It's difficult to speak for other teams, but from our perspective we have been signing new sponsors at a pleasing rate this year, and we are still talking to other potential partners. There is a lot of interest in F1, and the sport is growing in many areas.

Q:
Six winners from six races; can the team make it seven from seven?

Eric Boullier:
Let's hope so. Both Kimi and Romain are capable of winning and the E20 has shown race winning pace. Winning a Grand Prix is not the easiest thing in the world to achieve however, and I don't imagine that we'll have a different winner for every race this year; a pattern should begin to emerge before too long. We're looking forward to Montreal. It's the first low downforce track of the season, where the E20 should be strong. Our 500th race may not have been one of our best, but I hope the 501st is!


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